CAMPBELL, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Former Campbell Memorial High School football standout, Robert “Bob” Babich, passed away peacefully at his home in San Diego, California on Monday, April 4, 2022. Bob was 74.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Barbara (Caylor) Babich; his father, Frank Babich, Jr. and his mother, Mary (Lisko) Babich.
Bob is survived by his aunt, Ann (Lisko) Greer of South Bend, Indiana, as well as several cousins, his life-long best friend, Jack Macala (and wife, Betty) and numerous San Diego friends, including Ty Moody and Ralph Perretta and his beloved German Shepherd, Boris.
While attending Campbell Memorial High School, Bob was a standout athlete both in baseball and football. His performance on the football field as a linebacker caught the attention of many Division I football coaches. After long and careful consideration, Bob ultimately decided to play for football coaching legend Bo Schembechler at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. While at Miami, in 1967, Bob led his team in tackles with 164 and in 1968 he racked up 152 tackles. In 1967 he had 109 solo tackles; during the 1968 season, he had 97 solo tackles. His solo tackles those seasons still rank among the top ten best performances in Redhawk history. During his senior season at Miami, Bob played in several post-season games, including the Senior Bowl, the North-South Shrine Bowl and the All-American Bowl. Bob twice earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors and was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, the Sporting News, Playboy and Time Magazine. He also was the Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year in 1968 and Miami University’s athlete of the year in 1968-69. He was inducted into the Miami University Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1994, Bob was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He is the only player from the Mid-American Conference to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Bob graduated from Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Education.
The San Diego Chargers selected Bob as the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 1969 football draft. Bob spent ten years playing in the NFL. During his first three seasons with the Chargers, he played every game. In 1973 Bob was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a first-round draft pick in 1974 and a second-round selection in 1975.
During his NFL career, which spanned ten years, Bob played in 125 games, with starts in 86. He logged six interceptions and six fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown.
After retiring from football, Bob spent two decades running his real estate and financial services firm in San Diego.
He was an avid golfer and played in numerous charity and NFL celebrity tournaments.
Bob was an exceptional friend and a beloved family member. He had a smile that could light up the darkest rooms and a wicked sense of humor. His charm, charisma, laughter and friendship will be missed.
A memorial celebration will be held for Bob on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Michael’s Byzantine Church, 463 Robinson Road, Campbell, with interment immediately following.
In place of flowers, please consider donating in Bob’s name to St. Michael’s Byzantine Church in Campbell, the American Cancer Society, or the Robert Babich Scholarship at the Kiwanis Club of Carefree, P.O. Box 1498, Carefree, AZ 85377.
Local arrangements handled by Wasko Funeral Home.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert “Bob” Babich, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Thursday, June 9 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.