When he was growing up in Baltimore, through his years at Forest Park High, Bob Scott had a distinct dislike for Johns Hopkins.
He remembers how it started. One rainy day in the spring of 1945, when he was a ninth-grader, he witnessed Howdy Myers' St. Paul's lacrosse team crush Forest Park, 30-0. In those days, St. Paul's was invincible, winner of 90 straight in one stretch.
"I had no love for Howdy after what his team did to my Forest Park heroes," Scott said. "As fate would have it, Howdy went to Johns Hopkins to coach while I was still in high school, and brought St. Paul's players with him.
"So I didn't like Johns Hopkins as a kid. I always rooted for the opponent."
But Scott soon changed his attitude. Now, he is retiring from Hopkins after 45 years as a student, coach and athletic director. Except for a two-year Army stint, he has been at Hopkins every year since enrolling as a freshman in 1948.
A retirement gala in his honor will be held tomorrow at the Marriott Hunt Valley Inn.
"Bob is a legend," said Hopkins president Dr. William C. Richardson. "I've known some terrific people in athletics over the years, including Joe Paterno at Penn State. In my view, Bob has got to be one of the best athletic directors of all time.
"My litmus test for an AD is the quality of coaches around him. Not quality just in terms of wins and losses, but quality as people. Bob has brought in first-class coaches."
The past five years, Hopkins teams have won 60 percent of their games. During Scott's 22 years as athletic director, the teams have grown to 27, including 13 for women since the school began admitting women in 1970.
Many teams are winning league championships, reaching NCCA tournaments and appearing in national rankings, and not just in Hopkins' marquee sport, men's lacrosse. The Blue Jays' teams in crew, swimming, baseball, field hockey, soccer, basketball, fencing and women's lacrosse are also thriving.
Although Scott played and coached a variety of sports, he made his name in lacrosse, particularly during 20 years as Hopkins' coach, when he won seven national championships. He wrote a book on the sport that has sold more than 25,000 copies and has been translated into Japanese.
"Bob Scott was my idol," said Maryland coach Dick Edell, who grew up in Baltimore. "He's as great a person as he was a coach."
After a playing career in which he captained Hopkins in his senior season and was an honorable mention All-America as a hustling midfielder, Scott was serving at the Army Rangers' swamp training camp when athletic director Marshall Turner phoned.
"Do you want to be our lacrosse coach?" Turner asked.
Scott was 23, with a year left in the Army. Wilson Fewster had left after the 1953 season for the Virginia job, and Fred Smith, an insurance executive, agreed to serve as interim coach in 1954 until Scott was discharged that June.
"He was young, but I knew he wanted to coach," said Turner, who's retired and living in Chestertown.
"He knew some things about the game that others didn't, and Kelso Morrill and Bill Logan were there as assistants to keep his feet dry without undermining his authority. I felt comfortable with it and didn't spend a lot of time looking for other people."
Midway through his tenure as coach, in 1965, Scott had a team that lost only to Navy and finished No. 2 in the final rankings despite a midfield of 5-foot-8 Skip Darrell, 5-5 Herb Better and 5-1 3/4 Jerry Schnydman.
"We were funny looking out there," said Schnydman, Hopkins' director of the alumni relations. "It was like something Bill Veeck might have thought of, sending that midget to bat for the St. Louis Browns years ago.
"We begged Scott to let us play as a unit and, after a few injuries, he let us, and we were the No. 1 offensive midfield. To his credit, he recognized our chemistry and gave us the ball."
Scott first ventured into lacrosse as a goalie in the Forest Park Cubs recreation program. He went on to Forest Park High, where he also played football as a two-way end who weighed all of 138 pounds.
Scott wanted to play football at Western Maryland, but coach Charlie Havens had no need for a 138-pound end.
Scott then learned that Howdy Myers had called Forest Park athletic director Rex Sims. Myers said he was interested in Don Tate and Scott, neither any great shakes as an athlete,
"It was then that I became one of them," Scott recalled with a laugh, meaning that he joined the enemy, Johns Hopkins.
His coaches say Scott is very much a people person. When Tony