Bob Neff

Hall of Fame • Class of 2009

As a founding member of the Knoxville Track Club, Bob Neff contributed his considerable skills and experience in administration and officiating in ways that allowed the club to function effectively and grow in numbers.

After competing in track and graduating from the University of Tennessee, Bob Neff coached football, basketball, track and cross-country at South High School for thirteen years. In 1965 Bob was named Teacher of the Year in Knoxville City Schools and in 1969 he became assistant principal at South Young and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1983. Today, the National Honor Society at South Young High School is named for Robert Lee Neff.

A founding father of the Knoxville Track Club, Bob Neff, with help from Hal Canfield organized high school cross-country in the Knoxville schools and with the aid of Hal and Charlie Durham organized the first summer track program and our KTC Youth program. Also in the mid-sixties, Neff helped organize the KTC Officials organization to serve the Knoxville community.

Neff has won many awards, but none compare to his remarkable forty-one consecutive years of service as a KTC board member, from 1962 to 2003.

The recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame in 1981, Neff has also received special awards from the Tennessee Track Coaches Association and from the University of Tennessee for his work associated with the Dogwood, now Sea Ray Relays.

To say Bob is an accomplished official is an understatement. In 1996 Neff was selected the number one track official in the state of Tennessee by the United States Track and Field Association. Bob holds the title of Emeritus Official with the United States Track and Field Association, a title very few officials ever attain. Also in 1996, Neff received the Founder’s Award for his work with the Volunteer Track Classic and the KTC Officials have further recognized Bob with the annual presentation of the Bob Neff Award, given to each year’s outstanding official.

All in all, Bob Neff worked as a track official for fifty-eight years covering 800 meets at the local, state, regional, and national levels.

In 1998 Bob was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.