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Courtway, Robert F. | Hendrix College Archives

Name: Courtway, Robert F.
Variant Name: Courtway, Bob

Historical Note:

Following graduation from Wynne High School, Robert F. "Bob" Courtway joined the Merchant Marines, later attending Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas) where he majored in physical education.  He got his first coaching job at Holly Grove, serving as an assistant in football, basketball and track for four years.  He then spent seven years at Wilson as head football, basketball, track, and swimming coach before being joining Hendrix in 1961, the year Grove Phyiscal Education Building opened.

Courtway's first job at Hendrix was as swimming coach and teaching in the physical education department where he served for 19 years. In addition to coaching swimming, Courtway coached men's and women's cross country, track and field and tennis. He also coached men's water polo and laid the ground work for the first modern-day women's basketball team, coaching the club team the year before Hendrix entered the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA Division III.  Bob retired in 1992 following a 31-year career at Hendrix. He continued as volunteer track coach until 1995.

At Conway's First Baptist Church he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He received numerous honors for his Hendrix athletic and civic accomplishments, some of which are listed below:

Won nine AIC swimming championships

First swim coach inducted into NAIA Hall of Fame

Charter member Hendrix Sports Hall of Honor

First swimming-related nominee to be inducted into Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame

Volunteer swim coach, Conway High School

Hendrix pool named Bob Courtway Pool

Former member and past president of the Conway School Board

Founded and coached the Hendrix AquaKids

Founded and taught the 3rd grade Learn to Swim Program

Distinguished Service Award from Conway Chamber of Commerce

Conway, Arkansas' newest middle school is named in his honor - Bob Courtway Middle School

Mr. Courtway died on September 11, 1997. He is survived by his wife, Betty Sugg Courtway, daughter, Susan, and four sons, Tom, Bobby, John and Jeff.

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