Robert Park (American football)

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Robert Park
Rev. Robert Park.jpg
Park in 1951
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1880-05-12)May 12, 1880
Rome, New York
Died November 22, 1961(1961-11-22) (aged 81)
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Playing career
1901–1904 Syracuse
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1922 Geneva
Head coaching record
Overall 4–6

Robert Park (May 12, 1880 – November 22, 1961) was an American football coach. He was the tenth head football coach at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, serving for one season in 1922 and compiling a record of 4–6.[1] He also coached other sports for many years, but he was best known for his work as an academic and a minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA).


Born in Rome, New York on May 12, 1880, Park attended the city schools of Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse University[2], where he was the captain of the football team[3] in 1905. After graduation, he studied at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS) from 1907 to 1910. Licensed by the Rochester Presbytery on May 4, 1909, he was ordained to the ministry by the Pittsburgh Presbytery and installed as pastor of the denomination's Parnassus congregation on November 11, 1910. Park remained pastor of the congregation until August 28, 1922, when he resigned to serve at Geneva.[2]

While Park was the head of the history department at Geneva, he was also a longtime sports coach: he coached the football team in 1922 , thecross country team from 1926 to 1928, and the track team from 1929 to 1949 .[2][3] He was also the Dean of the College and the chairman of the Bible Department from 1949 until 1955.[3][4] Park continued to serve his church, being chairman of various committees and sitting on the boards of both Geneva College and RPTS. In 1929, he was elected the church history professor at RPTS.[2] Park continued his schooling after beginning his professorship, earning an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1924 and eventually earning a Ph.D. He was recognized for his accomplishments later in life, being elected the Moderator of the Synod of the RPCNA in 1951, and receiving a D.D. from Syracuse University in 1934.[3]

Beginning in 1929 and continuing until his death, Park spent his summers pastoring at the Reformed Presbyterian congregation in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia.[4]


Park was born into an Irish family: his father and mother were natives of County Tyrone and County Cavan respectively. Park married the former Emma Dodd on July 23, 1907 while teaching at the Arkansas Military Academy in Little Rock, between his college and seminary careers;[2] with her, he had three sons: Robert, David, and James.[4] After her death in Beaver Falls in 1939, he married the former Jennie Hayes on 31 December 1940, by whom he had two more sons: John and Eric. They were married until his death in Beaver Falls on November 22, 1961. Park is buried in Syracuse.[3]


  1. ^ Geneva College coaching records
  2. ^ a b c d e Thompson, Owen F. Sketches of the Ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. RPCNA, 1930, pp. 253-254.
  3. ^ a b c d e McBurney, Charles and Beth. Reformed Presbyterian Ministers 1950-1993. Pittsburgh: Crown and Covenant, 1994, pp. 146-147.
  4. ^ a b c Smith, Alvin W. Covenanter Ministers 1930-1963. Pittsburgh: RPCNA, 1964, page 165.