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Editorial: Passing of Bob McNamara is sad news for Gophers fans

At times, it is hard to believe what Bob McNamara accomplished in his lifetime.

He had very humble beginnings in a house full of boys being raised by a single mother.

He somehow went from that to become a standout football star here and then, later, stardom at the University of Minnesota on the gridiron for the Gophers. Injuries plagued him at the professional level of football, unfortunately.

But in hindsight, we doubt he’d change any of that if he could. McNamara went on to be an absolute success and what he did on the field began to pale in comparison to what he did off the field.

Especially when it comes to what he did for the University of Minnesota. It’s likely that any major athletic project that has been completed in the past few decades at the U has his fundraising fingerprints on it. Tens of thousands cheered for him, in fact, when he was an honorary captain before the first game at the new TCF Bank Stadium in 2009.

Former Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi said this about McNamara:

“It is hard for me to put into words what Bob meant to me personally, but more importantly what he meant to Gopher athletics. Anyone who knew Bob knew that there was no greater supporter of the university. He took great pride coming from Hastings and playing for the Gophers and then took even greater pride in following and supporting the Gophers. Nobody was better at fundraising or cared more about Minnesota than Bob. He will be deeply missed.”