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Philly lacrosse community mourns loss of Bob Erwine, 59, youth lacrosse coach

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019

Categories Boy's/Men's  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 9/3/19

The Philly lacrosse community is mourning the loss of Bob Erwine, 59, a former Abington High and Drexel great who coached youth lacrosse in Abington and Horsham for over three decades.

Bob died at his Abington home Saturday after a sudden heart attack.

Bob served as co-captain and an all-state midfielder of Abington’s 1978 team and helped the Ghosts reach the Avery Blake (state) final in 1977.

He was serving as President of Horsham Lacrosse Club and was a member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Youth Lacrosse Association (SEPLA) Board of Directors. He also has coached with Bucks Select.

Bob Erwine (left) with brother Rich after the first Erwine Cup playoff game

Bob’s teams won the 2017 SEPLA Championship (Horsham, youth) and the 2018 Lenape Summer League (Magerks, adult). He also started and won the Erwine Cup with brother Rich).

He is most proud of his son Zach, who just graduated from Drexel University.

“As a player, he was one of those guys that made your team complete,” said Bob Aitken, a longtime friend who played against Erwine while at Penn Charter and founded Mesa Lacrosse. “He had a combination of skills and tenacity.

“Once he was done playing he took his competitive spirit to the sidelines. While he was loyal to Abingdon and Horsham lacrosse, he rarely said no if someone needed a coach. In fact we had been working on expanding the Mesa Fresh Lacrosse program up until his sudden passing.

“What I learned was how much love the players and parents had for Bob. Not only did he impact these young men on the field but off it as well. So many of his alumni came back to coach with him at various levels. The lacrosse community lost a great leader this week.”

Bob is the second beloved Philly boys’ youth lacrosse pioneer lost in two weeks. On Aug. 17 Radnor Youth Lacrosse founder Peter Samson passed away following a bicycle accident the day before in New England.

Ron Forster, longtime Abington Lacrosse director and standout at Abington and Drexel several years before Erwine, said Bob was considered a pioneer to the position of the long stick midfielder.

“Bobby (Bubba) starred at Abington and Drexel,” Forster said. “He was maybe the first LPM at Drexel. He brought a smile to everyone’s face, in every encounter!”

“Yet another lax brother taken too soon.”

Bob is the son of Shelly Erwine, who served the PLA as Treasurer for over 3 decades.

Besides Shelly, he leaves behind his son Zach, brothers Tom and Rich, sister Nancy and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Thursday, September 5 at Grace Presbyterian Church 444 York Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046. A Memorial Service is Friday, September 6 at 10 am at Grace Presbyterian Church.

Bob Erwine (center) with his Magerks players

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