By: E&P Staff
Longtime Arizona Republic sportswriter Bob Eger, who specialized in covering Arizona State University athletics, died late Tuesday night at his home in Phoenix. The 66-year-old died of a heart attack.
Eger, a native of Yuma, Ariz., gradudated from Arizona State in 1964 with a degree in mass communications and began work at the Republic two years later. He worked at the paper for the next 31 years. After Eger retired from the paper in 1997, he served briefly as the official scorer for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In recent years, Eger had worked as a radio analyst for Arizona State baseball.
“I can’t think of anybody more committed to ASU baseball, or a more authentic, sincere man than Bob Eger,” ASU baseball coach Pat Murphy told the Republic. “ASU baseball lost a great friend today.”
Eger remained loyal to his alma mater during his time at the Republic. He is best remembered at ASU for his coverage of the 1996 football team, led by quarterback Jake Plummer. That team defeated then-number 1 Nebraska, won the school’s second-ever Pac-10 title and went to the Rose Bowl, losing in the final moments to Ohio State 20-17.
In 2001, Eger published his book Maroon & Gold-A History of Sun Devil Athletics. “Bob was an institution with ASU,” associate athletic director Mark Brand told the Republic. “We are talking about a man who wrote the history of ASU athletics.”
Eger’s fishing buddy, longtime ASU football coach Frank Kush, concurred, telling the Republic: “There are some guys you trust, and I always knew that I could tell him just about anything, and he was going to write it accordingly and wouldn’t embarrass anybody … I really admired him. I thought he was one of the most competent writers I knew. He was knowledgeable not only about football, but every other sport.”