Rohe Track Era All About Us!

Compiled by Tom Scott 07/28/2013


Bob Redington, 1962-66

After being accepted at Furman University, Coach Rohe called me to tell me he was going to UT and asked me if I would like to go there instead. I said, “Yes,” thinking, “Does a wild bear sleep in the woods,” because, otherwise, I was going into the army, not having a penny for college. After hanging up the phone, I ran to my world globe to find Tennessee. Coach invited me to make a visit to the UT campus. Growing up in a Mom and Pop Motel on Ft. Lauderdale Beach in South Florida with flat land, ocean, beach, and palm trees, I was enamored with the fauna and flora and rural fragrances of East Tennessee. I am the quintessential Beach Bum & Gigolo. Then, I went on to be a traveling salesman.

Coach included our attendance at the annual Athletic Department (jock) dance party at a place out on the Alcoa highway. It was an Animal House party. At the time, I had been abstaining from things like coffee and Coca-Cola, so I was all eyes watching football players dancing with beautiful women between the tables, on top of the tables, and maybe a few actually on the dance floor, each with a bottle in one hand and a woman in the other. The next morning, Coach met us at breakfast in the "Training Table" cafeteria in Gibbs Hall. The first thing he said was, “You guys will NOT be partying like that when you come here."


Bob Redington, 1962-66

Four of us hopped a freight train and rode to the Covington, KY train yards across the river from Cincinnati. We walked across a trestle onto Vine Street in Cincinnati. We stopped in a café where for fun and to show off for my friends, I ordered a cup of free hot water. Into the water I poured free Ketchup making free tomato soup. Adding salt and pepper, I reached for the free Saltine crackers and ate “breakfast.” Later that day, since it was a birthday for one guy, we ordered a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday. At that time, 3% beer (called Near Beer) could be drunk by college students under 21 yrs old.

We did decline the opportunity…..for some reason. Upon returning to the train yard to hop a freight back to UT, time was passing. And, one guy, a student Gaylord Morris (330/440 hurdler) chose to call his dad, get a plane ticket and flew back to Knoxville. We called him Sky King from that day forward. I think he ended up being a fighter pilot in Vietnam. We did manage to hop a freight transporting vans. We sat in a van, turned on the radio, and rode back to Knoxville, arriving on a Monday morning, having missed morning workout and classes. Coach Rohe wondering what the heck happened to us. Oh, we did enjoy the surprised look on people’s faces who were sitting in their cars at railroad crossing seeing us waving at them.