Hall of Fame Athlete

Bob Burles '66

Bob Burles '66

  • Football, Track and Field
  • Hall of Fame Class of 1991
Bob Burles is without a doubt one of the best two-sports stars Willamette has ever had. After transferring from the University of Oregon, Burles became a three-time All-American in track and field. His specialty was the 440-yard hurdles, where he placed fourth at the NAIA championships as a sophomore, second as a junior and first as a senior. His career-best time of 52.9 set during his sophomore year- a school record for 16 years- still ranked second on Willametteís all-time list as of his induction in 1991. But as sparkling as his track career was, his football accomplishments were equally impressive. He was a two-time All-American in 1964 and í65 at defensive end for record-setting Bearcat defenses. Three National Football League clubs wanted to sign the 6-foot-3 1/2, 225 pound tackler who could run like the wind, but Burles, now a physical therapist, had already suffered an injury that put his athletic career in jeopardy.
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