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Bob Shannon

Bob Shannon
Born1945 (age 73–74)
OccupationFootball coach

Bob Shannon (born 1945) is an American former high school football coach. He is best known for coaching the East St. Louis Flyers to six Illinois and two national championships.[1][2]


Early life

Robert Lavern Shannon was born 1945 in Port Gibson, Mississippi.[3]


Shannon achieved a record of 192-34 in 20 seasons at East St. Louis.[4] In 1985 he was selected as the USA Today High School Football Coach of the Year along with taking the High School Football National Championship.[5][6] Shannon accused the school district of condoning corruption. He claimed the athletic director stole from the district. He left in 1995 after the school board backed the athletic director, who later plead guilty to stealing $90,000 from athletic accounts. Janet Reno awarded Shannon the United States Attorney General Award, an award rarely given outside of law enforcement, for his efforts to fight corruption.[7][8] He coached Alton and Christian Brothers College High School before retiring from coaching in 2007 at the age of 63.[9][10][11]

Shannon and the East St. Louis Flyers were the subject of the book The Right Kind of Heroes, by newspaper reporter Kevin Horrigan, who is now a columnist with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The book chronicles the Flyers' 1990 and 1991 seasons, during which they lost the state championship and then won it back. Shannon coached pro football players Dana Howard and Bryan Cox and baseball player Homer Bush, then a high school football star during his tenure at East St. Louis.[12][13] Two years after retiring, Shannon was inducted into the St. Louis Metro Football Coaches Association hall of fame.[14]

George H. W. Bush recognized Shannon as "a beacon of hope in a sea of despair."[11] Bill Clinton named Shannon one of his 53 faces of hope during his 1992 presidential campaign. Shannon was selected for overcoming difficulties and leading his team to success. He was invited to lunch prior to the inauguration with Clinton and attended the inauguration.[15][16]


  1. ^ Jon Mahoney (3 Nov 2008). "East St. Louis' wideouts Terry Hawthorne and Kraig Appleton are looking to restore the school's football glory - ESPN".
  2. ^ "Former Flyer pilots CBC to state title game". St. Louis American. 22 Nov 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  3. ^ Horrigan, Kevin (1992). The Right Kind of Heroes: Coach Bob Shannon and the East St. Louis Flyers. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-945575-70-2.
  4. ^ "Shannon Resigns as East St. Louis Coach". Tulsa World. 3 Sep 1995. Retrieved 23 Oct 2014.
  5. ^ "USA TODAY football players, coaches of year". USA Today. 26 Jun 2006. Retrieved 23 Oct 2014.
  6. ^ Dallas Jackson. "National High School Football Rankings History". Retrieved 23 Oct 2014.
  7. ^ "Ex-coach returning to face former team". The Southeast Missourian. 3B. Associated Press. 23 Oct 1997. Retrieved 24 Oct 2014.
  8. ^ "Shannon to receive award from Reno". The Southeast Missourian. 2B. 28 Mar 1998. Retrieved 24 Oct 2014.
  9. ^ Bell, Taylor (30 Jun 1996). "In Shannon, Alton gain is East St. Louis' loss". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 23 Oct 2014.
  10. ^ Latsch, Nate (8 Nov 2007). "Legendary coach calls it quits CBC's Bob Shannon coached in the area for more than 30 years, receiving national attention while at East St. Louis". St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO). Retrieved 23 Oct 2014.
  11. ^ a b Temkin, Barry (27 Nov 1996). "A Winner Finds New Hope". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 Oct 2014.
  12. ^ Gould, Rich (13 July 2013). "Sunday Sports Extra: Bryan Cox". Retrieved 23 Oct 2014.
  13. ^ Horrigan, Kevin (1 Sep 1992). THE RIGHT KIND OF HEROES - Coach Bob Shannon and the East St. Louis Flyers. Algonquin. ISBN 0-945575-70-X.
  14. ^ "SLMFCA Hall of Fame". 1 Jan 2010. Retrieved 23 Oct 2014.
  15. ^ Briscoe, David (18 Jan 1993). "Ordinary People Guests of Clintons, Gores". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  16. ^ Halperin, Jennifer (October 1993). "Bob Shannon wants leaders on his East St. Louis team". Illinois Issues. XIX (10): 12–15. Retrieved 22 October 2014.