Robert Shaw

Return to Obituaries


May 22, 1921 - April 10, 2011

Leave a message of condolence


Private Family Service

Robert “Bob” Shaw was a natural athlete, excelling at all levels of football as a player and coach and making a mark in other sports, as well. Mr. Shaw earned numerous titles in his sports career, yet the ones he treasured most were “husband,” “father” and “grandfather.” Mr. Shaw died Saturday, April 10th, at his home in Westerville, OH, after a brief illness at the age of 89. He was preceded in death by Mary, his beloved wife of 63 years. Mr. Shaw was born in Richwood, OH, on May 22, 1921. His parents were the late Fred and Lucy Shaw. Mr. Shaw’s athletic skill was evident as early as high school, when he lettered three times each in football, basketball and track at Fremont Ross High School. He was first team All-Ohio in both football and basketball and won the shot put and discus in the state track and field meet. The Little Giants inducted him into the Ross Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. At The Ohio State University, Mr. Shaw lettered twice in football under the legendary Paul Brown. Playing right end – on both offense and defense – Mr. Shaw was a member of the Buckeyes’ first NCAA National Championship team in 1942 and was named a first-team All American for that season. He also lettered in basketball and track, helping the Buckeyes to their first Western Conference track crown in 1942. But it was his exploits on the gridiron that earned Mr. Shaw a place in The Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.
Mr. Shaw served with the104th Infantry Division, earning a Bronze Star as the Timberwolf Division fought its way across Europe. He later completed his bachelor’s degree in education at Otterbein College (now Otterbein University) in Westerville, OH. Before shipping out, he married Mary Katherine Hawkins on January 22, 1944. Mr. Shaw liked to tell the story of how the pair had fallen in love at first sight when she showed him to his seat at the Columbus movie theater where Mary worked as an usher. Mr. Shaw’s National Football League career began in 1945, as he returned from the war and joined the Cleveland Rams. The Rams notched a World Championship in Mr. Shaw’s rookie year. In the off-season, he played for the Toledo Jeeps of the old National Basketball League. Among his NFL accomplishments, Mr. Shaw:
” Was football’s first tight end, a position created by Head Coach Clark Shaughnessey of the Rams in 1949.
” Set the record for most touchdown passes (5) caught in one game on Oct. 2, 1950, playing for the Chicago Cardinals against the Baltimore Colts. His record was tied 31 and 40 years later, but has never been bested.
” Led the league in touchdowns scored (12) during the 1950 season. Also in 1950, he was named an All-Pro and played in the first NFL Pro Bowl. ” Was receivers coach for the Colts in 1958 when they won the World Championship in what has been called “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”
After Chicago, Mr. Shaw headed north to play for the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. In Calgary, he added place kicking to his repertoire and set a CFL scoring record. When it came time to hang up his cleats, Mr. Shaw returned to his roots in Ohio, where he coached high school programs in Washington Court House and Cuyahoga Falls. It wasn’t long before the pros sought him out, however, and he headed for Baltimore with Mary and their 5-year-old son, Webb. In Baltimore, daughter Amy joined the family and the lineup was set. Professional coaching families tend to lead nomadic lives, and the Shaws were no exception. Bob Shaw’s pro coaching career included stints as receivers coach with the Colts, the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, the first New Orleans Saints coaching staff and the Buffalo Bills, and as head coach with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where Mr. Shaw was named CFL Coach of the Year in 1976. Mr. Shaw was also head coach and athletic director at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell in the early 1960s and, after leaving pro football, returned to Otterbein as head coach from 1985 to 1987. Continuing his multi-sport focus, Mr. Shaw also served a turn as the Ohio talent scout for the New York Yankees after leaving pro football. Mr. Shaw is survived by his son, Webb Shaw of Fremont, WI (Catherine); daughter, Amy Shaw of Columbus, OH (Steven Hayes); grandchildren Erica (Shaw) Sheets, Lindsay (Shaw) Davis and Dakota Hayes, and 2 great-grandchildren. Arrangements are being handled by Moreland Funeral Home, 55 E Schrock Rd., Westerville, OH (614) 882-2197. Private family services will be planned at a later date.


Bob Seifert - Apr 22, 2011

My Father, John Seifert, was a member of unit 414L. We are sorry for your loss.

National Timberwolf Association 104th Infantry Division - Apr 16, 2011

I will turn home at last once more
Knowing that a true soldier’s rest
Once earned is sweet
His peace complete
Who gave until the last his best

Jim Jackson - Apr 13, 2011

I miss Bob already. When I was working he would always come to me to check out his groceries at Meijer. I would kid him about all the sweats he bought. He would just laugh and say he had to have his cookies.

Return to Obituaries