Robert Eugene Maxwell, 72, of Miami, died Monday, April 27, 2009, at the Shanon Springs Residential Center in Chickasha.
The body has been cremated.
Mr. Maxwell was born Feb. 16, 1937, in Erie, Mo., to Melvin Mark and Ruth Ellen Maxwell. He attended grade school in Neosho, Mo., before moving to Miami in 1947.
Mr. Maxwell was a four-sport letterman at Miami High School. He was an Oklahoma All-State selection in basketball and baseball.
Following graduation from high school, Mr. Maxwell lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track two straight years in 1956 and 1957 for coach S.A. “Red” Robertson’s Golden Norsemen.
As a football player, Maxwell earned All-Oklahoma Junior College Conference recognition in both 1957 and 1958. The 1957 squad finished 5-3-1 overall while the 1957 team posted a perfect 9-0 record. The 1957 squad finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA poll, but did not receive a post-season bowl invitation to either the Junior College Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., or the Pine Bowl in Texarkana, Texas.
He ranks second all-time at NEO in career punt returns with 19 for 465 yards and one touchdown. His 33.2 yards-per-return during the 1957 season remains an NEO school record as does his 24.4 average for a two-year career.
After earning an associate of arts degree from NEO in 1957, Mr. Maxwell lettered both in basketball and baseball while earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Arizona.
Mr. Maxwell earned a specialist degree from Pittsburg (Kan.) State University.
Prior to coming to NEO, Mr. Maxwell taught and coached two years in Tucson, Ariz., before returning to Miami in 1963 to serve two years as assistant football and basketball coach at Miami High School.
During his coaching tenure at NEO, Mr. Maxwell served 20 years as an assistant football coach, head baseball and head softball coach.
From 1966 to 1986, Maxwell produced 26 junior college All-Americans as a defensive secondary coach in football. He was a coach on the 1967, 1969 and 1980 NJCAA National Championship teams. He coached former NFL players Matt Blair, Jerry Anderson, Scott Case, Ben Smith, Tony Peters and Ralph McGill.
During 2008, Mr. Maxwell was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Football Hall of Fame as a contributor.
As head baseball coach from 1966 to 1979 the Golden Norse won 223 games and made 11 trips to the Region II playoffs. He coached former 1978 National League Rookie of the Year Pittsburg Pirate shortstop Johnny Ray.
As head softball coach from 1986 to 1988 the Lady Norse compiled a 75-47 overall record. The Lady Norse won the Region II crown all three years and advanced to the National Tournament.
A 35-year employee of NEO, Mr. Maxwell also served from 1993 to 2000 as chair of the Behavioral Science academic division. He also served from 1995 to 2000 as athletic director.
Mr. Maxwell served 28 years on the board of directors for the Northeast Oklahoma Council on Alcoholism in Miami. The past two years he was executive director of NOCA.
Survivors include three daughters, Jo Lynne Maxwell, DVM, of Joplin, Mo., Jana Maxwell, Phd., of Lebanon, Ind., and Jami Maxwell, RPT, and her fiancée Joe Mooney of Oklahoma City; one sister and her husband, Judy and Tommy Caveliro of Maume, Ohio; five brothers, Wilbur “Bub” and Barbara Maxwell of Broken Arrow, Jerry and Kitty Maxwell of Riverside, Calif., George and Diane Maxwell of Mobile, Ala., Wayne and Susan Maxwell of Temple City, Calif., and Bill Maxwell of Hollywood, Calif., and two granddaughters, Taylor and Rilee Redden.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Ruth Ann, an English instructor and former graduate of NEO.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Southeast Baptist Church in Commerce. The Rev. Jerry Von Moss will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either NOCA at 130 East Steve Owens Blvd. or the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Foundation at 200 I St. NE.