Robert H. “Bob” Kurz passed away peacefully on Friday, Nov. 11. The son of Walter (former publisher of the Chicago Tribune) and Ethel Hull Kurz, he served as Associate Athletic Director of Northwestern University from 1974 to 1979.
A lifelong sports fan and an avid golfer, he was a proud 1958 graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. A proud member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, he also served as editor of the fraternity’s magazine.
Bob was the husband of Marian Hummel Kurz; father of Kyle Robert (Abby) Kurz, Kelly Kurz (Mark) Minichiello, and Christopher Daniel (Lindsey) Kurz; grandfather of Tyler and Casey Kurz, Nicholas and Mike Minichiello, and Elizabeth Kurz; and brother of Ronald (Nancy), Roger (Elizabeth), and the late Susan Kurz.
Upon graduation, Kurz was hired as Sports Information Director at his alma mater. In 1965, he moved his family to Dallas and began serving as Promotion Director of the Dallas Times Herald. He later formed his own sports promotional agency and was a member of The Bond Group, a Dallas advertising firm.
A lifetime friend, John Pont, then Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Northwestern University, offered Kurz the position of Associate Athletic Director in 1974. His tenure was marked with innovations and setbacks. Facilities were in some disrepair. Kurz pushed to upgrade, ultimately convincing the university that athletics could help promote Northwestern.
After suffering a stroke during a surgical procedure in 1977, Kurz left Northwestern, but stayed close to the athletics department as an avid fan. In 1983 he released his tribute to Miami as the author of Miami of Ohio, The Cradle of Coaches. The book dealt with the individuals who made the university a mecca for future coaches, many of whom went on to larger athletic venues: Paul Brown, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals; Bo Schembechler, Michigan; Paul Dietzel, LSU; John Pont, Indiana and Northwestern; Red Blaik, Army; Weeb Ewbank, Baltimore Colts; John Harbaugh, Baltimore Colts; Ara Parseghian, Northwestern and Notre Dame; Carm Cozza, Yale; and more recently, Shaun McVey, Los Angeles Rams.
Community focus was an important part of his life. When Longfellow School in Dallas was integrated, many parents chose to send their children to other schools. Kurz, along with several other parents, began an after-school program featuring opportunities designed to bring the community together. He carried on his commitments of service as President of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston in 1992-1993. He was also President of Shore Community Services. His goal was to involve young professionals to help perpetuate the mission of “improving the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.”
A celebration of Bob’s life is being planned for Spring 2023.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bob Kurz Cradle of Coaches Fund, Miami University, 725 E. Chestnut St., Oxford, OH, 45056; Shore Community Services, 8350 Laramie Ave., Skokie, IL, 60077; or Kiwanis Club of Evanston, PMB 157, 1555 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL, 60201.
Funeral info: Call 847-673-6111 or go to habenfuneral.com to sign the guestbook and to leave a condolence message.