Freeport grad Bob White was part of 2 football national title teams at Penn State

When Bob White was a sophomore in high school, he moved from Haines City, Fla., To Freeport. A big factor that helped ease the change of scenery was his love for sports.

White ended up fitting in well in the middle of the football team’s defense. He was an all-state linebacker in 1981 and went on to become a two-time national champion with Penn State.

White will be one of 10 inductees in the 2022 Alle-Kiski Sports Hall of Fame Class, which will be honored at the 51st induction banquet May 21 at the Quality Inn in New Kensington.

“The way I view it is that it is an honor that belongs to a lot of people,” White said of his upcoming induction. “I’m just the front man that goes up to receive it, but there’s a lot of people involved.”

White said it was a bit of a transition to leave family and friends in Florida, but he quickly made new friends in Freeport.

“I just relocated and ended up doing a lot of the same things I was doing in Florida,” White said. “I got a chance to get to meet and get to know a lot of new people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, which was great.”

White helped Freeport reach the 1981 WPIAL Class AA championship game against Jeannette. Even though the Yellowjackets lost, White called the game “the apex of a very incredible experience.”

He was named first-team all-state linebacker by the Associated Press and the UPI and played in the Big 33 Classic.

While at Freeport, White also played basketball and was on the track and field team. He set a school record in the shot put with a throw of 61 feet, 9 inches.

As his graduation from Freeport approached his football recruiting picked up. His college choice became clear rather quickly.

“The first couple times I had a chance to meet coach (Joe) Paterno and his wife, Sue, and a lot of the staff up at Penn State, I knew that was going to be a tough one to top,” White said. “Everything about the way they carried themselves, how they carried themselves and the kind of things that they valued made me very comfortable, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

White was on the scout team as a redshirt freshman in 1982 when Penn State won the national championship. His primary responsibilities were to get the starters ready for the opponent each week.

His college career came full circle in 1986, when he was a captain on Penn State’s national championship team.

He played defensive end and was part of a pivotal goal-line stand in the final 30 seconds of Penn State’s 14-10 win over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl, which sealed the national championship.

“It was the exclamation point or the icing on the cake when you look back at the route in which our group had traveled with the various tests that had been put before us,” White said. “It was the appropriate way for our college careers to end. We had gone through a lot together. The core were the ones out there every week in ’82 making sure our guys were prepared to do what they were supposed to do against Georgia. That helped us make runs in ’86 and ’87. It all fit. ”

White had 18 sacks in his career with the Nittany Lions.

After his playing career ended, White found his role in the workforce at State College.

He started working at Penn State in 1989 and, since 2001, has overseen premium seating sales at Beaver Stadium. He also organizes approximately 75 special events annually at Beaver Stadium.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker