Bob Krouse a Football Teacher

The length of the career of an average NFL player is recorded to be 3.3 years.  If that player starts to play in Secondary School that means he will spend, on average less time playing football over his lifetime than Hamilton, Ontario native son, Bob Krouse did as a Canadian Football League stand out.  Krouse came to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats directly from Central Collegiate High School in Hamilton’s North End.  Krouse expressed his desire to attend university to the Cats’ Head Coach, Ralph Sazio, however, Sazio argued that Bob could stay home, attend McMaster University, play for the Tiger-Cats, play more games each year and continue to see his girl friend.  Some 43 years after playing his last CFL game and 55 years after deciding to stay beside that gal, she and Bob remain married.

Krouse never did leave school, after graduating from McMaster, the 6’, 195 lb linebacker spent three decades teaching secondary school in the region and of course, coaching football. One of Krouse’s in the off season was to run the Hamilton Tiger-Cat High School evaluation camp.  The high school camp was created by former Tiger-Cat head coach, Jim Trimble, the role of the camp was to invite top high school talent from the region to show off their abilities for a week to recruiters from Canada and the United States. Players were tested, coached and evaluated by a tremendous staff and very often, university football careers were a direct result.  Bob Krouse was the driving force behind that Tiger-Cat institution for many years.

A fixture at the Tiger-Cats home field since 1963, the 75- year old is still involved with the Tiger-Cat alumni and his council is sought as often now as it was during his playing days when players would huddle in Krouse’s room after training camp practice to learn their roles on defense at the feet of the master. Bob was born to be in a classroom, he was an avid student of the game, watching film long before it was popular, Krouse often took cues on the field from what he learned in the class. Those extra hours in study hall served the tough Canadian well during the 1972 Grey Cup, Krouse’s study revealed an opportunity for him to apply some extra heat on the Saskatchewan Roughriders punter, which Krouse took advantage of on two occasions, blocking punts in critical stages in the contest that the Tiger-Cats won at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton. By the time Krouse would have graduated from university he had already played in three Grey Cup’s winning two of them.  There are very few university players who can get to a Vanier Cup more than once in a career, Krouse was in the national title game four out his first five years in the league.

Krouse’s playing career takes on even more grandeur when you realize that in 1963, CFL rosters had a total of 32 players, having to play on the defense and most special teams takes a toll both physically and mentally.  Krouse recounted a time when an injury prevented him from physically being able to turn left, “so I had to circle around guys to tackle from the right” I would suggest that in the CFL of 2018 an injury of that nature would keep a player out of the lineup.

It was a special time for football in Canada and Bob Krouse was, and remains, a special kind of man.

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