Boggs, Bob


Dayton, Ohio native Bob Boggs had an outstanding college career in cross country and track, and his accomplishments are even more impressive considering he didn’t begin his running career until junior year at Northmont High School. He was ninth in the state in the two-mile but went under-recruited and, with Otterbein taking notice, Boggs ultimately arrived to Westerville as part of a strong incoming class.


Boggs evolved into a 6x Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) champion. He led the XC program to league titles in 1986, 1988 and 1989, and track to its first-ever championship in 1990.


Bob was a 4x All-OAC runner in cross country by finishing eighth, third, first and first in his four years. He was also 4x All-Region and 2x All-American, finishing 13th as a junior and 25th as a senior at the NCAA Championships. In track, Boggs is on Otterbein’s all-time top-10 list in three events; steeplechase, 5K and 10K.


After a 13th-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships as a junior, he had hopes for a good chance to win the entire meet his senior year. Bob had a great season by topping the previous national runner-up, dominating the OAC Championships by 28 seconds, and eventually heading to nationals to race with six inches of snow on the ground…


The conditions helped cause a fall and injury at the beginning of the race and, with a half-mile to go, Boggs heard from coach Scott Alpeter that he was in 44th place individually (All-American honors went to the first 25 runners that crossed).


Boggs pushed through the injury and starting picking off competitors, counting each that he passed, moving into a tie for 25th with 200 meters to go, and ultimately outlasting his opponent in a sprint to the finish. Later on, Bob found out the runner who he out-kicked was the defending 800-meter national champ.


In 1990, Bob requested that he be entered in four distance events at the OAC Track and Field Championships because he was determined to be a part of history. Otterbein had never won the team trophy, and nobody had tried to run four distance events at the same OAC conference meet. Bob wanted to do everything he could to help in what was his senior year.


Boggs ended up winning the 10K on Friday evening and then kicked off Saturday’s session by winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase, beating an All American in the process. He then ran the 1,500 meters just 20 minutes after winning the steeplechase, and admirably finished third. After three long distance races, the 5,000-meter run became one of the hardest races he had ever run. Boggs pushed through lap by lap, won the race and garnered “Most Valuable Runner” of the meet. These efforts helped Otterbein raise the trophy for the first time in school history.


Bob was mentored by Hall of Fame coach Dave Lehman. While Lehman was a great coach, Boggs will always remember the love, caring nature and selflessness displayed toward him and other teammates. He truly appreciates the many things he learned from Lehman.


Boggs was also an outstanding student, who has gone on to a successful business career, while remaining active through activities such as running, biking, skiing, and competing at highest level in beach volleyball. He now lives in Park City, Utah.


In 2010, Boggs took a sabbatical from the business world and found a new love in coaching. He now runs and coaches his own volleyball club, achieving results in the top one percent of clubs in recent years and even winning a state championship.