Bob Skoronski


The pinnacle of any football player has to be winning the Super Bowl and Derby's Bob Skoronski not only won the first two Super Bowls but captained the champion Green bay Packers who ushered in a whole new era of popularity for the National Football League. During his tenure with the Packers they won five NFL championships.

Bob was born on March 4, 1934 and graduated from St. Michael's School while also being a member of Boy Scout Troup 3 and Explorer Post 33 in Derby. Bob began his football career as a junior at Fairfield Prep, often hitchhiking the 20 miles between home and school during football season.

A successful career at Prep brought recruiting efforts from many of the biggest schools in college football including including Notre Dame, North Carolina, Holy Cross and Indiana University and Bob chose Indiana because IU offered his older brother, Frank, a football scholarship as well. Bob was a two-way starter for Indiana for three seasons, was named team captain and MVP. He was selected to play in the North-South football game and the College All-Star Game in 1956. A dean's list student at IU, he graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1956 and an ROTC commission to the U. S. Air Force.

The Green Bay Packers selected Bob in the fifth round of the 1956 NFL draft. Bob earned a starting position at right tackle in his rookie season. In 1957, Bob left the Packers to fulfill his two-year, ROTC commitment in the U. S. Air Force at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. as a Second Lieutenant. Not surprisingly, Bob was a member of the U. S. Air Force National football team during his tenure in the Air Force which included famous Notre Dame football stars, Joe Heap, Don Schaefer, Dan Shannon and Ralph Guglielmi.

Having fulfilled his military service commitment, in 1959, Bob rejoined the Green Bay Packers who had just named Vince Lombardi as their head coach. During his eleven year NFL career, Bob was one of just nine men to play all nine seasons of the Lombardi era in Green Bay from 1959-1968. As starting left tackle, quarterback, Bart Starr, often praised his "blind-side" protector for his prowess and skill. He and his teammate, Willie Davis, were named co-captains by Coach Lombardi on a Green Bay Packer team that won five NFL Championships (1961-1967) including the famous victories over the New York Giants in 1961 & 1962, the Cleveland Browns in 1965, and the Dallas Cowboys in 1966 and again in the historic Icebowl in 1967.

#76 on the cover of Sports Illustrated after Super Bowl I

Bob's football career culminated in victories in the first two Super Bowl victories over Kansas City and Oakland. In 1966, he was named to the Pro Bowl team.

During each off season, Bob put his IU degree to work in several areas of business including Jostens, the ring maker, where he designed and sold the first two Green Bay Packer Super Bowl rings and later for the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl championship team of 1970.

Bob retired from the Packers following the 1968 season and began a long and successful business career beginning in 1969 with opening of a KFC franchise restaurant in his home town, Derby, CT with his beloved uncle, Tony Roginel, (which is still family-owned and operated), and as an Owner and President of Valley School Suppliers and as Owner and President of Moe Northern and Allied Fire Lite in Appleton, WI and Madison Lighting in Madison, WI, still owned by his family.

After his retirement from football, he had the honor of being inducted into the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame, the inaugural class of the Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Polish-American National Sports Hall of Fame joining such luminaries as Mike Ditka, Carl Yastrzemski, Bill Mazeroski and Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski and the Fairfield Prep Hall of Fame, where his football jersey number was retired. Bob was the only Prep player to attain this honor. He was also a recipient of the Connecticut Gold Key Award, generally considered Connecticut's highest athletic honor.

Throughout his football career and thereafter in business, Bob remained active and committed to a variety of community activities and charitable causes. Each year he organized and hosted a golf tournament to benefit the Alzheimer's Association which was attended by many of his Packer teammates, other NFL players, players from the NBA and former baseball stars, Tony Kubek of the Yankees and Sal Bando of the Oakland A's. He is also known to have assisted a number of athletes to secure scholarships to his alma mater, Indiana University, and elsewhere. He was a highly sought after motivational speaker at fundraisers and banquets throughout Wisconsin which would benefit young high school football players and athletes. He was generous with his time and resources.

He passed away on October 30, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin at the age of 84.

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