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May 28, 2011

Coach Bob Tompkins(deceased), UCM Forged a Path to the Houston Astros New Owner Jim Crane

Baseball Coach Bob Tompkins, Warrensburg, Missouri UCM

Soon-to-be Astros owner big benefactor for Central Missouri baseball team
By BLAIR KERKHOFF - McClatchy Newspapers
WARRENSBURG, MO. In the summer of 1973, Jim Crane was working two full-time jobs and playing baseball at home after returning from his freshman season at Central Missouri.

And that's where he planned to remain along with his mother and younger sister when his father, Bob, died of a heart attack.
It was then that Mules coach Bob Tompkins drove to the Cranes' home in the St.Louis suburb of Dellwood. Joyce Crane, Jim's mother, and Tompkins agreed that pursuit of a college degree should not be abandoned.  "Bob Tompkins would have made the same trip and had the same conversation with any of his players," said Kevin Kinsella, a former teammate family friend of the Cranes who lives in Overland Park, Kan. "That was the kind of coach and person he was. And I think it was a turning point in Jim's life." Which makes Tompkins' trip that day a turning point in many lives. Crane is about to become the owner of the Houston Astros, a purchase made possible by an astounding business career...........................

Tompkins, who died of cancer in 1996 at the age of 55, coached the
Bob Tompkins, Mules Baseball Coach,
UCM Warrensburg, MO
Mules from 1965 through 1980.  He compiled a record of 248-164-1 (.602), won three MIAA championships and made two trips to the NCAA tournament, finishing fourth in 1974.  That team was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.  His 248 wins rank second in career coaching wins among Mules’ baseball coaches.  Before becoming the Mules’ head coach, he was a three-year letterman as a pitcher for them.  He received the Vernon Kennedy Award in 1962 as CMSU’s outstanding senior athlete.  He designed the current Mules’ playing field, which bears his name and has been the Mules’ home since 1976.  After stepping down from his coaching position, he devoted his time to his academic position of professor in the department of physical education.  He did return briefly to the coaching ranks in 1985 to coach the Mules’ and Jennies’ tennis teams for two seasons.  Coach Tompkins was elected to the Mules Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Read more:

TOMPKINS, Robert Neill Clinton Daily Democrat
Robert N. Tompkins, 55, Warrensburg, died July 11, 1996, at Shawnee Mission Hospital, Shawnee Mission, Ks. He was battling brain cancer. The family received friends on July 13 at the Central Missouri State University Alumni Chapel, Warrensburg. Funeral services were held on July 14, at the Sheldon-Goodrich Chapel, Osceola. Pallbearers were Lynn Solomon, Jim Hudson, Ronald Vandam, Floyd Walker, Roger Denker and Jim Conn. Honorary pallbearers were Mike Carter, Jim Pilkington, David Defrain, Curt Reams, Dean Vogelaar, Rusty Newman and Gary Walsner. The funeral service was conducted by Ronald Vandam with eulogies given by Jim Crane, Lynn Solomon, Jim Hudson and Elois Pelton. Burial was at the Valley Center Cemetery, Deepwater.
Mr. Tompkins was born on October 7, 1941, in St. Clair County, the son of Howard and Esther Tompkins. Mr. Tompkins graduated from Lowry City High School. He graduated from Central Missouri State College in 1962 with a bachelor of education degree and his master of education degree in 1963; and his doctorate of education degree in 1968 from the University of Utah. At Central Missouri State University he taught physical education for 33 years and coached Mules baseball at CMSU for 15 years from 1965 through 1980 compiling a 248-164-1 record (.602 winning percentage). The 248 wins and 15 seasons as head coach are the most wins for any Mules' baseball coach. Under Tompkins, the Mules baseball teams won MIAA titles in 1966, 1971 and 1874 and earned NCAA tournament berths in 1971 and 1974. The 1974 squad finished fourth in the nation. In 1974, Tompkins was named the MIAA Coach of the Year. Tompkins and the 1974 baseball team have been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at CMSU. Tompkins played baseball for the Mules and was an All-American pitcher and a three-year letterman. He received the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete Award in 1962. He coached the Mules' and Jennies' tennis teams from 1985-87. Dr. Tompkins was a professor in the CMSU Department of Physical Education for 33 years. He sponsored the Physical Education Majors club for 20 years. His memberships were in the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, member of the Missouri Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance where he was currently serving as president. Honors received from MAHPERD include the Robert Taylor Outstanding Service Award and the Presidential Awards for Service. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in Education. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Esther Tompkins, and a sister, Rebecca Tompkins. He is survived by his two daughters, Kyla Jean Creollo of Joplin and Kristie Lynne Sterrett, Lee's Summit; two granddaughters, Kacie Lynne and Kalley, Marie Creollo of Joplin.

Established 1996
The Dr. Robert Tompkins Memorial Scholarship is available through the University of Central
Missouri Foundation for an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in the field of physical education
including the related areas of physical fitness, health and wellness. This scholarship is made possible by
way of a gift from Lynn, ’74, and Mary Solomon of Warrensburg, Missouri, in memory of Dr. Robert
Tompkins, ‘62.
Originally from Deepwater, MO, Robert N. Tompkins was a 1962 graduate of UCM. He earned a
Master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is Doctorate in 1968 from
the University of Utah. He began his lifelong career as a professor of physical education at UCM in
September 1963.
Dr. Tompkins also served UCM as the men’s baseball coach from 1965-80 during which time he
compiled a 248-164-1 record. Under Tompkins’ leadership, Central baseball teams won conference
championships in 1966, 1971, and 1974. The 1974 sqad finished fourth in the nation among Division
II competitors; both Tompkins and the team were inducted into the UCM Athletic Hall of Fame for
this effort. Additionally, Tompkins sponsored the physical education majors’ club for 20 years.
As an undergraduate, Tompkins played baseball for UCM and was an All-American pitcher and threeyear
letterman. He was selected as “Outstanding Male Athlete” in 1962.
Robert Tompkins’ successes on the baseball field of UCM are secondary to the accolades he received
as an educator. He was known to his students for his expertise, teaching skills, compassion and
genuine caring for them as individuals.
To apply, a student must:
a. be a full-time undergraduate student in good academic standing at UCM;
b. be pursuing a degree in the field of physical education including the related areas of physical
fitness, health and wellness;
c. be worthy, deserving and of good moral character;
d. show promise of leadership and academic ability in the field of physical education;
e. be a member of a student organization for physical education majors;
f. demonstrate financial need.
* Preference shall be given to student(s) who are studying physical education for a career in the field of
physical education, i.e. teaching, health services, etc., rather than for a career in coaching.

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