To: The St. Lawrence Community
From: President William L. Fox
Date: April 4, 2016
In Memory: Coach Bob Northrop
I write to share the sad news that Bob Northrop, long-time St. Lawrence swim coach, died on Sunday, April 3.
In his 21 years as coach at the University, Bob had two top-three finishes in NCAA Division III team championships. He took the women's program from its formative years to establish a strong collegiate program which included over 40 All America finishes and 16 relay All America finishes during his tenure. Many of the athletes he coached are now members of the St. Lawrence Athletic Hall of Fame; he was inducted into the Hall of Fame himself in 2010.
A graduate of Colgate University, Bob also earned a master's degree in student personnel administration from Colgate and worked in admissions at Cornell before coming to St. Lawrence in 1975. Initially, he worked in admissions and was director of financial aid until 1979, when he became swim coach. He coached the 1979-80 team to the first Upper New York State Swim Association Championship in program history and led the 1980 and 1982 men's teams to third-place finishes in the NCAA Division III Championships. Bob was the 1999 UCAA Men's Swim Coach of the Year and was awarded the James W. "Doc" Littlejohn Award by St. Lawrence in 2000, upon his retirement.
He recruited and coached some tremendous swimmers; most would say that his positive attitude made the endless hours in the pool a little easier. A tireless advocate for his students, he cared deeply about the success of his athletes in competition, the classroom and in life after St. Lawrence. Athletics Director Bob Durocher told me Bob Northrop was a mentor for many coaches throughout his career, a frequent visitor to department programs and contests every year since retirement, and a source of warmth and kindness to all he met.
Lynn and I send heartfelt condolences to Bob’s wife Sue Northrop, to their family, their friends, and to the generations of Laurentian athletes who benefited from Bob’s guidance, wisdom, and good cheer. When his family determines plans to honor Bob’s life, we will communicate again.