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"Ex-Grid Official Is Dead"

S.F. Examiner, Monday, Aug.31st, 1964

Melbourne C. "Fighting Bob" Evans, former Stanford football coach and for years one of the more respected football officials on the Pacific Coast, died Saturday in Mills Hospital, San Mateo. He was 74.

Funeral services will be held at the Colonial Mortuary of Crosby -N. Gray & Co., 2 Park Road, Burlingame, at 2 P.M. tomor-row. Relatives request that instead of flowers, friends send contributions to the American Cancer Society, 1517 South B St., San Mateo.

Evans served as Stanford's first football coach after the school resumed American football in 1919. The Indians played Rugby from 1906 until 1917, then suspended athletics because of World War I.

"One Season"

After one season Evans turned to officiating.

In 1936 Prescott Sullivan wrote for The Examiner:

"Evans' reputation for square shooting is so great that California has asked several times that he officiate the all important big game with Stanford, although he is a formerStanford coach."

Herb Dana, czar of Pacific Coast Conference officials, and Evans had a row in 1936 over selection of referees.

"He's giving me the works," charged Evans, who had failed to get one assignment for the season. "Personal feelings should not be allowed to influence his appointment of officials."

The PCC agreed. Meeting in Pasadena, conference fathers res- tored Evans' name to the list of qualified officials and sharply curtailed the authority of Dana.

For many years Evans was a partner in the Evans-Breckenridge grain brokerage firm of San Francisco.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Zella Evans of San Mateo; two daughters, Mrs. Mary Jane Wellington, Sausalito, and Mrs. Zella Margaret McLellan, Atherton; a sister, Mrs. Herman Kellerman, Pinkneyville, Ill., and four grandchildren.

"Bob Evans"

By Prescott Sullivan

It grieves us to note that Bob Evans, Stanford Football coach in the pre-Pop Warner era, died the other day.

Fighting Bob, as he was called, was quite a man. Quick of temper, he was as devoid of fear as anyone we ever met.

A football and basketball official after he retired from coaching, he would'nt take any guff. We were present one day when immediately after a football game he had refereed in Stanford Stadium, he ran up into the stands and pulled a sports writer out of the press box by the scruff of the neck.

The fellow had made the editorial error of calling Evans a bad official. Needless to say, we were always careful of what we wrote about Fighting Bob.

On another occasion, he was refereeing a basketball game at Kesar Pavillion. The crowd was hostile to him because of a decision he made against the home team and the place rocked with boos.

His eyes blazing defiance, Evans marched to the free throw line and handed the ball to the captain of the visiting team.

"Shoot!" he commanded, "and keep shooting until I tell you to stop!"

If we remember correctly, Evans awarded the visiting team 11 shots before the angry fans decided they better shut up.

Fighting Bob was'nt a man you could boo successfully.

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