Coach Bob Thalman, the last VMI football coach to have a winning season, died on January 31, 2012 in Atlanta Georgia.  Thalman was uncermoniously fired by the then Superintendent Sam Walker and Athletic Director Eric Hyman.  In his last winning season 1981, the VMI Keydet’s defeated West Point at West Point.  Yes his last three seasons were dismal, but the VMI football program since his time has been dismal.  VMI could have allowed Thalman to retain his dignity by making him the Athletic Director in 1983; instead they brought in a young wipper snapper, who along with the then Superintendent fired Thalman the next year.

Bob Thalman had his faults.  He was cocky and had an oversized ego, but those faults were also the key to his success.  He believed and  that connected with his players.  I got to know him when I was the manager of the Football team; and grew to respect him.  My brother played for him.  His legacy is that he hired good assistant coaches, recruited  decent athletes, and most importantly won football games.

To his family I offer my deepest condolences.

By the way VMI does not have an announcement of his death on their web site.

One thought on “Coach Bob Thalman

  1. I had the honor to play for Coach Thalman for one year before I took command of Charlie Company. He was a serious and competent coach who was utterly dedicated to his charges and a loyal and fine representative of the Institute. My deepest heartfelt condolences to his family.

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