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Former LaPorte Slicer and Canadian Football League player and Slicer Coach Bob Strieter is being inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
If you would like to attend the induction ceremony May 7 at the Avalon Banquet Center in Merrillville, IN, please contact Ryan Seaburg at email@example.com. Local organizers are trying to get as many tables full of Slicers for the event as possible. The induction ceremony will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. May 7. Individual tickets for the event are $40.
Whether you can make it or not, former players, coworkers and friends are asked to consider sending Bob a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert “Utch” Strieter was born in 1941 in LaPorte, the middle of five children to Robert and Martha Strieter. He spent his entire childhood in LaPorte and recalls as a young boy going to see previous Indiana Football Hall of Famers Dick Alban, Dick Hostetler, Bucky Haag and John Steeb.
Bob got his start in football in the 1950s LaPorte Parochial League. He still recalls the big games under the lights on Wednesday nights at Kiwanis Field. Bob attended LaPorte High School from 1956 to 1960. While at LaPorte he participated in football and wrestling. As a wrestler, he finished 2nd in the state in the heavyweight division. While on the football field, under the coaching guidance of Indiana Football Hall of Fame Coach Stan Klimczak, Bob really excelled. As a senior during the 1959 season, the 212-pound fullback set the Slicer single season rushing record of 1,336 yards in 10 games. This record stood for 47 years. He also set the then-school records of 236 yards rushing in a game, 17 touchdowns in in a season, 5 touchdowns in one game, and a 93-yard kickoff against defending state champion South Bend Central. He finished his senior season as Team MVP, All-Conference, All-Area, and All-State. Many Slicer old-timers still consider Bob the best Slicer to ever lace them up.
Following his outstanding 1959 senior football season, Bob was recruited by Gary, IN, native and former Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Hank Stram to play football for the University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes. He was also heavily recruited to play for Northwestern by Ara Parseghian, the former Notre Dame coaching great. In the end, he accepted a full scholarship to the University of Miami and headed south in the summer of 1960. While at “The U,” Bob had an outstanding career. He moved from fullback to offensive guard and defensive nose guard. As a 230-pound lineman, he started five games as a sophomore and every game as a junior and senior. It should be noted that Bob started both ways while at Miami. He blocked for All-American and future NFL quarterback George Mira. Other notable teammates include former NFL All-Pro Dan Conners, Bill Miller and Pete Banaszak. While playing at Miami, Bob was able to play against some of football’s most historic figures. He started and played at Alabama against Bear Bryant and Joe Namath. In the 1961 Liberty Bowl in Philadelphia, he started and played against the first African-American Heisman Trophy Winner, Ernie Davis, in Davis’ last game he ever played. Bob also started both ways against Nebraska in the 1962 (last ever) Gotham Bowl in Yankee Stadium.
Following an outstanding college career, Bob took his playing talents to the Canadian Football League and started every game as a rookie defensive end for Head Coach Nobby Wirkowski and the Toronto Argonauts. In 1965, he played for the Toronto Rifles in the Continental Football League under Head Coach Leo Cahill. While in Canada, Bob played with All-Pro selections Jackie Parker, Dick Shatto, Jim Roundtree and Sherman Lewis.
After the 1965 football season, Bob returned to northwest Indiana and accepted a teaching position at Valparaiso High School. While there, Bob coached for Indiana Football Hall of Fame Head Coach Tom Stokes. In 1967, he accepted a physical education teaching job in LaPorte. He also began coaching the Slicers under Stan Klimczak. In those days, the football staff at LaPorte included future Hall of Fame baseball coach and former Valparaiso University football player Ken Schreiber. Bob completed his coaching tenure as the Slicer head football Coach from 1982 to 1989. This included the 1986 Duneland Conference Co-Champion Slicers.
Following 39 years of teaching, Bob retired from LaPorte High School in 2004. He was one of the founding trustees of the Slicer Football Association in 1985 and continues as a trustee today. During the over 30 years of history, the Slicer Football Association has given over $100,000 back to the Slicer football community. Bob remains chairman of the SFA’s Bob Strieter, Dick Deardurff, and Jake West scholarships. Other accomplishments include chairman of the Fischer Football Scholarship, 1980 chairman of the Indiana High School Football Induction, 1986 inductee into the Slicer Football Hall of Fame, and 2010 inductee into the LaPorte High School Hubner Hall of Fame.
If you ask the extremely humble Bob Strieter what his greatest accomplishments are, he would tell you: being married to his college sweetheart, Darkiss Strieter, for 53 years, and being the father of 4, grandpa of 12, and great-grandpa of 2.