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Bob Guelker (June 26, 1923 – February 22, 1986) was an American soccer coach and administrator. He coached 24 years at the collegiate level, including coaching St. Louis University to five championships (1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965). He coached the U.S. teams at both the 1971 Pan American Games and the 1972 Summer Olympics. He was president of the United States Soccer Football Association from 1967 to 1969 and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Bob Guelker
Personal information
Full name Robert Guelker
Date of birth (1923-06-26)June 26, 1923
Place of birth St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Date of death February 22, 1986(1986-02-22) (aged 62)
Place of death United States
Playing position Defender
Teams managed
St. Louis Preparatory Seminary
1959–1966 Saint Louis Billikens
1967–1985 SIU Edwardsville Cougars


After graduating from St. Louis University (SLU), Guelker coached soccer at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary. In 1958, he approached SLU regarding establishing a men’s soccer team. The university agreed and Guelker, working on a shoestring budget of $200 played five club (4–1 record) games that season. In 1959, the school took the sport to the intercollegiate level. The move paid off as the Billikens won the inaugural NCAA Division I championship.[1] Guelker continued to coach St. Louis through the 1966 season, taking the team to a 95–10–5 record and winning five championships (1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965). The Billikens also finished as runners-up in 1961.[2] He was inducted into the St. Louis University Hall of Fame in 1979.[3] On September 30, 2009, Guelker was named to SLU's Half-Century Team.

In 1966, Guelker left SLU and moved to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to establish the soccer program and serve as the Cougars' athletic director. In 1972, when the NCAA established Division II soccer, Guelker’s team won the first NCAA Division II championship. In 1973, he was selected as the NSCAA Coach of the Year.[4] After winning the Division II title, SIUE moved into Division I competition, and Guelker won one last title when the Cougars took the 1979 title 3–2 over the Clemson Tigers. Guelker's role as SIUE's head coach ended with his death in February 1986, after having compiled a 216–67–21 record with SIUE.[5] In 2005, SIUE inducted Guelker into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame.[6]

As a college coach, Guelker achieved a record of 311–77–26 and won seven NCAA titles, including the first in both Division I and Division II. In 1971, Guelker coached the U.S. soccer team at the Pan American Games, and a year later, he coached the U.S. at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He also coached the U.S. Under 19 national team.


In addition to coaching, Guelker held various executive positions at the local and national levels. In 1946, he became the Executive Secretary for the Catholic Youth Council, Archdiocese of St. Louis, a position he held until 1969. .[7] He was the president of the United States Soccer Football Association from 1967 to 1969. He was also the Chair of the National Junior Cup Competition Committee, USSF Olympic Development Committee, Missouri Soccer Federation, and Missouri Senior Soccer Association.

The Catholic Youth Council of St. Louis holds an annual “Bob Guelker Soccer Tournament” in his honor.[8] He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1980 and the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 1986 and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Hall of Fame in 1993.[9][10][11]

Coaching recordEdit

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Saint Louis University (Single Division Independent) (1959–1966)
1959 SLU Billikens 11–1–0 NCAA Champions
1960 SLU Billikens 14–1–0 NCAA Champions
1961 SLU Billikens 13–2–0 NCAA Runner-up
1962 SLU Billikens 12–0–1 NCAA Champions
1963 SLU Billikens 13–1–0 NCAA Champions
1964 SLU Billikens 11–1–1 NCAA Semifinals
1965 SLU Billikens 14–0–0 NCAA Champions
1966 SLU Billikens 7–4–3 Lost Elite 8
SLU Billikens [12]: 95–10–5 (.886)
SIU Edwardsville (Single Division Independent) (1967–1971)
1967 SIUE Cougars 3–3–0 Ineligible-in transition
1968 SIUE Cougars 10–0–0 Ineligible-in transition
1969 SIUE Cougars 10–1–1 Lost 2nd round
1970 SIUE Cougars 9–3–0 Lost Elite 8
1971 SIUE Cougars 10–2–1 Lost Elite 8
SIU Edwardsville (Division II Independent) (1972–Only)
1972 SIUE Cougars 11–0–3 NCAA Div. II Champion
SIU Edwardsville (Division I Independent) (1973–1985)
1973 SIUE Cougars 11–2–1 Lost Elite 8
1974 SIUE Cougars 12–3–0 Lost Elite 8
1975 SIUE Cougars 14–4–0 NCAA Runner-up
1976 SIUE Cougars 12–4–0 Lost Elite 8
1977 SIUE Cougars 12–4–1 3rd Place
1978 SIUE Cougars 14–3–1 Lost Elite 8
1979 SIUE Cougars 19–2–3 NCAA Champion
1980 SIUE Cougars 10–8–2 Lost 1st round
1981 SIUE Cougars 13–4–1 Lost 1st round
1982 SIUE Cougars 15–4–1 3rd Place
1983 SIUE Cougars 10–6–2
1984 SIUE Cougars 8–7–4
1985 SIUE Cougars 13–7–0
SIUE Cougars [13]: 216–67–21 (.745)
Total: 311–77–26 (.780)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ A Big Splash For St. Louis
  2. ^ St. Louis University Soccer
  3. ^ St. Louis University Hall of Fame
  4. ^ NSCAA Coach of the Year
  5. ^ SIUE Coaching Records
  6. ^ SIUE Athletics Hall of Fame Archived 2007-05-05 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ CYC Youth Soccer Archived October 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "National Soccer Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
  10. ^ St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame
  11. ^ NSCAA Hall of Fame
  12. ^
  13. ^

External linksEdit