Bob Johnson graduated from Waseca High School in 1957 as one of the top 4-sport athletes in school history, then attended the University of Minnesota for two years.
While in high school, Bob earned 12 letters; two in basketball, three in track, three in football and four in baseball. Upon graduating from high school, Bob received a scholarship to the University of Minnesota to play football.
A three-year letter winner in track, Bob helped the Jays win the South Central Conference championship in his senior year. He threw the discus and the shotput, and set a school record in the shotput with a heave of 45 feet 113/4 inches.
Bob was a four-year letterman in baseball as the starting catcher for the Jays. The team placed second in the conference his senior year. Final stats for the season show that Bob Johnson was the top hitter for the Jays, batting .440 and was the team leader in RBI’s. Interestingly enough, he did not strike out during the entire season.
In basketball, Bob lettered twice; and in his senior year, the Bluejays completed one of the most successful cage seasons in some time. During the season Bob broke both the Waseca and South Central Conference individual scoring record with 39 points. The old record was 36 points scored by Bill Walter during the 1954-55 season. St. James had the tallest prep player in the state at 6’9”, but Johnson at 6’3” ended up as the top scorer in the conference. Bob was also co-captain of the Jays his senior year.
Bob had an outstanding football career at Waseca earning three letters. He was All-Conference and also selected co-captain his senior year. He played End, Kicker and Defensive Tackle. Bob helped lead the Jays to three straight South Central Conference championships. In his senior year, the team won eight straight games. They were rated 11th in the state, and extended their winning streak to 13 over two seasons.
Bob was rewarded by being selected to the 1956 Minnesota All-State Football Team. An unknown sportswriter wrote, “The husky Johnson was a big factor in the surge of the ‘Jays into statewide prominence during the season. He is one of the toughest defensive men in this part of the state, being just about unstoppable at his position”. Bob was the first Waseca Central player to gain All-State status since Andrew (Hambone) Papke, a former end in 1946. In 1957, Bob was selected to play in the North – South All Star football game. He played on the South team coached by Bernie Bierman, former coach for the Minnesota Gophers.
After graduating from high school, Bob attended the University of Minnesota where he played football for two years.
Bob is retired from the Waseca Fire Department after 35 years with the department, 17 years as chief. Bob is married to Gwen Pratt, a Homecoming Queen and Bluejay cheerleader. Bob and Gwen have one daughter, Jodi and two grandchildren, Noah and Evan.