Bob Sprenger, a veteran sports public relations practitioner who won the admiration, respect and affection of media colleagues coast to coast, died Sunday at age 77, after a year-long battle with leukemia
The Reno native spent his entire 50-year career “doing what I like to do more than anything else” he would like to say, which was diligently servicing an ever demanding, highly impatient and testy crop of journalists whom he treated as trusted family.
Bob launched a stellar career at The San Francisco Examiner where he covered high school sports honing his skills and earning the trust from coaches and players whom he treated with fairness and respect.
Following his stint with The Examiner, Bob joined the PAC-8 Conference, serving as Public Relations Director and assistant to the commissioner, handling media operations for seven Rose Bowls and earning his reputation as an engaging and energetic ambassador of goodwill as he helped elevate the growing conference into a new era of prominence and recognition.
It wasn’t long before the Kansas City Chiefs came calling, when in 1972 Bob was hired as director of public relations and coordinated media operations for nine SuperBowls and the first ProBowl. Bob adjusted to the national stage with his engaging and energetic manner, infusing the news bureau with renewed vitality and a welcome voice.
Upon leaving the Chiefs in 1987, Bob was hired for one year by the NCAA as the Executive Vice President of the Final Four Foundation in charge of the NCAA’s 50th Anniversary. He was subsequently hired full time as an Assistant Executive Director where he oversaw operations of the Visitor’s Center. After seven years, Bob joined his daughter Stacy in her company and opened Sprenger McCullough & Co., helping to develop the success of the marketing/public relations firm.
Fulfilling his pledge to support community projects, Bob continued his dedication to The First Tee Foundation, of which he was a board member of the youth development organization which introduces the game of golf and its values to young people throughout the greater Kansas City area. He also has been a devoted supporter and promoter of the Children’s Mercy Golf Classic.
Bob leaves his wife and love of his life, Joan, of 55 years, daughters Stacy McCullough and Allyson Maher and son-in-law Kevin, and five grandchildren, Hannah Maher, 25, Samantha McCullough, 24, Molly Maher, 22, Caroline Maher, 21 and Jack McCullough, 21; his sister Barbara Smith, brother-in-law Vern Smith and nieces Kathy, Lori and Bonnie.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in Bob’s memory be made to The First Tee Foundation. A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Indian Hills Country Club, 6847 Tomahawk Road, Mission Hills, KS, with a reception to follow until 4:00 pm.