Former USF players talk about what Bob Young meant to them as a coach and friend

Legendary coach passes away at age 83 Wednesday morning
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 12:14 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Today has been tough after the news that Bob Young passed away this morning.

He was just on my radio show-Calling All Sports last Thursday and sounded terrific despite being on dialysis every other day. And having received the news from more than one specialist that the diagnosis concerning his heart wasn’t good.

Despite all that, Bob Young always wore a smile and had words of encouragement for his many friends. Just like this video from the day he retired as a college football coach in 2004. But he never stopped loving the game and the people. Bob was a legendary football coach who’s USF Cougars won a national title in 1996.

But it was the impact he had on so many lives that makes today’s news so sad, but also makes us realize how lucky we were to have him in our lives, whether it be as an athlete, through FCA or just as a great friend who always made sure to tell you that he loved you.

Kurtiss Riggs, QB on the 1996 championship team says, “He was going to love and treat everyone to where you felt so warm and received and you wanted more of it. I mean he was going in for dialysis all the time and still just battling and smiling every day and wanting to go do things and it was pretty amazing.”

Brian Hansen-FCA and former player says, “Yeah I had a lot of time to reflect when I heard the news today. I was on the road and thinking about our many days together, our many adventures and just the blessing that he was in my life. And the word kind, yes definitely defines him. But more than that just love. He just loved people.”

Former player and HS Head Coach Curtis Eben said back in 2004 when Bob retired, “He taught us a lot about life and what it really means and how we grow up to be good men. He told us football is only going to last so many years and that’s when you’re going to hit the real world.”

Now Curtis is one of many former players who’ve gone on to coaching, winning a state title at Central Lyon/GLR. That’s just a testament to what Bob Young was as a mentor for his players.

He was truly one of a kind and will be missed. But what a great 83 years he lived. And as he would always say to me, Love ya man! We love you Bob!!