This successful coach began his involvement in the game of hockey like many coaches, as a player. Born in Kenora, Bob learned his hockey skills growing up in Fort William. An all-star defenseman with the Fort William Junior Canadiens, he went on to compete with Port Huron in the International Hockey League from 1962-73, claiming three league titles.
Taking over the coaching duties with Port Huron, he served as the teams manager/coach from 1973-77, earning IHL Coach of the Year honours for the 1975-76 season. Moving over to the AHL in 1977-78, Bob led the Maine Mariners to the AHL title in his very first season and was named the AHL Coach of the Year.
After only five years coaching in the minor leagues, Bob made his way to the NHL, serving as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. Serving behind the Flyers bench for 50 games of the 1978-79 season, he returned to the Maine Mariners for four more seasons, once again claiming AHL Coach of the Year honours in 1980-81.
Named Assistant GM and Coach of the Flyers in March of 1982 he went on to become the clubs Coach/General Manager, remaining with the team until 1984. Signing on as Assistant Coach of the Edmonton Oilers in 1985-86, he served as Director of Player Development in 1986-87, the year the Oilers won the Stanley Cup. Named coach of the Vancouver Canucks in 1987, Bob earned runner-up honours in the voting for NHL Coach of the Year for 1988. With the Canucks until 1990, Bob's record behind the bench includes over 600 NHL and 1100 professional hockey games.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 10th, 1994