The man that put our town (Guilford College) on the map, Bob Kauffman has died at age 69 years old

*****As a kid growing up, I lived about 2.5 miles from Guilford College and back then in those days, Guilford College was actually a town and not yet a part of the city of Greensboro, no annexation at that time and Guilford College was a college and a town of about maybe 1,500-2,000 people…Bob Kauffman put the tiny town and the tiny college on his back and carried his school/town to fame and in the process, he put Guilford College basketball on the map…..Bob Kauffman died on Monday at the age of 69…RIP Bob Kauffman……*****

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Robert “Bob” Kauffman ’68, one of the most decorated athletes in Guilford College history, died Monday in suburban Atlanta. The former National Basketball Association player, coach and executive was 69 years old.

Bob Kauffman 1968 action

Kauffman starred in the frontcourt for coach Jerry Steele’s basketball teams from 1964-68. Kauffman came to Guilford from Scarsdale, N.Y., and earned National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) honorable mention All-America recognition as a sophomore in 1966. He was a second-team All-American and the Carolinas Conference Most Valuable Player as a junior. Kauffman was named to five different All-America squads as a senior in 1968. He helped turn Guilford into a national power that won 86 games in his four seasons with three straight trips to the NAIA Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

A 6-8, 240-pound center, Kauffman scored 2,570 points on 64 percent field-goal shooting and collected 1,801 rebounds in his 113-game career, all current school standards. He also holds Guilford marks for career scoring average (22.7 ppg.), single-game rebounds (32), single-season rebounds (698, 1967-68), career rebounding average (15.9), career field goals (943), single-season field goal percentage (.712, 1967-68), single-season free throws (273, 1966-67), career free throws (684) and single-season free-throw attempts (344, 1966-67). Kauffman graduated with a history degree.

The Seattle SuperSonics made Kauffman the third overall pick in the 1968 NBA Draft. He played seven years in the NBA with four different teams: Seattle, Chicago, Buffalo and Atlanta. Kauffman was a three-time NBA All-Star and posted career averages of 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game before retiring in 1975. He spent two seasons as assistant general manager for the Atlanta Hawks before Detroit hired him as the Pistons’ general manager in 1977. He took over as the team’s head coach midway through the 1977-78 campaign before stepping away from both positions in the summer of 1978.

Kauffman was inducted into Guilford’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1973. The college retired his jersey number (44) in 2009.

Bob Kauffman

Kauffman is survived by his wife, Judy, and three daughters. A memorial service will be held August 1 at 3:00 p.m. at Calvary Chapel in Lilburn, Ga. The family will receive visitors July 31 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Wages Funeral Home.


  1. In our community, everything we did went through Guilford College Quaker basketball…

    Our junior high school paper was called “The Littlest Quaker”….

    We had Bob Kauffman, David Smith, Jerry Crocker, Tom Ennis, Pat Moriarity, Eddie Dyer, M.L. Carr, Lloyd/World B. Free, Bert Feik, Johnny Ralls, Robert Kent, Teddy East, Ray Massengll, Steve Hankins, Greg Jackson, Bo Whitaker, and on you can go with Jerry Steele and Jack Jensen being the leaders of our community team..WCOG was the school’s station and all Quaker basketball games were on that station with Tom Wall and Carl Scheer announcing no matter where the team was playing….

    Good days and a good community….

  2. from Bill Hass formerly with the News and Record who covered the local college and pro basketball scene for good while and back in Bob Kauffman’s day too and Bill on Bob Kauffman:

    He was the one who really got Guilford’s hoops program going. He had signed to go to Wake Forest but something happened and he didn’t get in. So Bones McKinney called Jerry Steele, who had played for him and become Guilford’s coach at a young age, and said something like “I’ve got a player for you.” And the Quakers really took off from there.

Comments are closed.