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Published: Wednesday, 12/8/2010

Robert H. Schultz, 1929-2010: Longtime area principal also coached basketball

Robert H. Schultz, a winning high school basketball player and coach who was a high school principal for 22 years -- first at Rogers, then at Macomber-Whitney -- died Monday in his Monclova Township home. He was 81.

He was ill for several years with Parkinson's disease, congestive heart failure, and neuropathy, his son, Eric, said.

Mr. Schultz retired in 1982 from the former Macomber-Whitney Vocational Technical High School, where he was principal for 12 years. The previous 10 years, he was principal of Rogers High.

He was a faculty member at Rogers' opening in 1956. He was the first basketball head coach at the new school in the former Adams Township and taught government and physical education.

His teams were Great Lakes League champions.

The first semester of 1960 he was the school's assistant principal and dean of boys.

The second semester, he was principal, a post he held as the last parcels of the township were annexed to the City of Toledo later that decade and the township's school district was absorbed by Toledo Public Schools.

"Bob was a quality guy," said Jim Jones, a former administrator in the Toledo school district who retired as superintendent of Northwest Local Schools in Hamilton County.

"Rogers High School, when he was principal, [that] was considered one of the outstanding high schools in the area -- academically, athletically.

"Bob was a great leader," Mr. Jones said. "He was a really outstanding basketball coach and had some great seasons [at Rogers] and produced some wonderful athlete scholars. Wherever he went, he was so well thought of."

His professionalism was at the center of faculty members' high regard.

"You never had to guess what Bob Schultz thought or had to guess where he was coming from," said Cliff Nelson, who started teaching at Rogers in 1958 and stayed 35 years. "He was an up-front person about everything, and I think his basketball players recognized that as well."

Mr. Schultz was given a choice of principal assignments in 1970, and he chose to return to his alma mater, Macomber, from which he graduated in 1947.

"There were teachers on the staff he had when he was a student," his son said.

At 6 feet, 4 inches tall and called by the former Toledo Times "the rangy Bob Schultz," he played center on Macomber's city championship basketball teams in 1945-46 and was voted the Most Valuable Player and honorary captain of the team his senior year. He also was second-highest scorer in the City League his senior year and was named an All-City center and an all-tournament center. He received an all-state honorable mention.

He played basketball for a year at the University of Toledo, from which he received bachelor's and master's degrees.

He taught social studies for a year at the former Burnham High School in Sylvania. At Maumee High School, he taught government and became head basketball coach after a stint as an assistant. In 1956, the year he left the school, he coached an undefeated track team. His basketball reserve teams at Maumee won conference titles the previous two years. He coached freshman and lightweight football for three years as well.

In retirement, he liked to fish at the family cottage near Coldwater, Mich.

His granddaughters often helped, and they teased him about his high standards, that in planting flowers, "the spacing and the pattern had to be perfect," his son said. "Dad was a perfectionist."

Mr. Schultz and another retired educator, George Schmidt, began an every-Wednesday breakfast club in 1982 that has outlasted at least two restaurants.

"He was a great friend to a lot of people," said Mr. Jones, an early club member.

Mr. Schultz was born July 20, 1929, to Della and Henry Schultz and grew up on Blum Street. He and his family were longtime members of St. Petri Lutheran Church. He was the leading scorer for the St. Petri basketball team in 1949 when it took the Ohio-West Virginia YMCA Church Basketball Championship.

Surviving are his wife, Jean, whom he married Jan. 26, 1952, son, Eric, daughter, Kristine Dowgiert, two granddaughters, and a great-granddaughter.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee, where the body will be after 2 p.m. Thursday.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or St. Petri Lutheran Church.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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