Trine University in Angola, Indiana, recently inducted two new individuals into its Athletic Hall of Fame – and one of them is a Switzerland County native.
This year’s inductees were former track and field standout Robert D. “Bob” Coates of Vevay; and former football All-American Eric Watt. Coates and Watt were formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the University’s Touchstone and Homecoming Celebration Dinner on Friday, September 30th, and were introduced on-field at the football game against Concordia (Illinois) on Saturday, October 1st.
Bob Coates was a standout in shot put and discus for a string of successful Tri-State University track and field teams from 1976-80.
Coates earned All Mid-Central Conference honors three times from 1978-80. A three-time co-captain, Coates was instrumental in leading his teams to four-straight MCC titles. He was a varsity letter-winner for all four conference championship teams. His teams won the NAIA District 21 meet three times.
Coates earned national acclaim in being named to Who’s Who Among American College and University Students, one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent organizations for recognizing students. He was also named to Outstanding Young Men of America, an annual award given by the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) organization.
Coates earned a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education in 1980. He is married with four children and works as church consultant for Lifetouch Church Directories and Portraits in Seymour, Indiana.
He is the son of Opal Coates of Vevay and the late Bob Coates.
Eric Watt was a nationally recognized standout on the gridiron who led the Thunder football team to multiple championships and postseason appearances. He graduated from Trine in 2011 with a degree in finance. He works as the chief financial officer for W.T.I. Truck Accessories in Kentland, Indiana.