Role Model (n.)—A person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially younger people
To have played for coach McDevitt is to have observed a role model in action. Class, character, consistency…these terms only begin to describe the manner in which Robert McDevitt led young men on both the football and baseball fields. His patient demeanor, calm presence in all situations, expert tutelage and commitment to his players truly serves as a model that all coaches should strive to follow.
Before beginning his teaching and coaching career at Johnson City, Mr. McDevitt was an accomplished athlete at both the high school and college levels. He earned 8 varsity letters at Binghamton North High School; three letters earned in both basketball and baseball and two more letters earned in football. He went onto play four years of baseball at Colgate University as the team’s third baseman from 1957-1960. With his playing years complete, Mr. McDevitt focused his attention on his future profession as a teacher, eventually leading him to Johnson City.
After three years as the junior varsity coach, Bob took over the varsity in the spring of 1965. He would remain the head coach of the varsity team right up to his retirement in the spring of 1998; an incredible tenure of 34 years! Mr. McDevitt’s teams enjoyed consistent success during his time as the head coach. The Wildcats baseball team earned divisional championships in 1973, ’77, ’78, ’82, ’83, ’84, ’86, ’92, and 1993. They were crowned Section IV champions in 1984, 1993, and 1998. Coach McDevitt’s 1993 team was arguably his most successful. They were division champions, Section IV champions, and Regional champions. Their attempt to earn the district’s first state championship in baseball was derailed by a heartbreaking loss in the state semifinals.
In addition to his 37 years of coaching baseball for Johnson City, Mr. McDevitt also was a member of the Wildcats football coaching staff at the varsity, jv and modified levels for 30 years. Combined, Bob coached for 67 seasons of Johnson City athletics, literally making an impact on the lives of thousands of young men to come through our district.
It is with great pride that the Johnson City Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes a coach who was the face of Johnson City Baseball for more than three decades and who epitomized the way a coach should lead his players, Mr. Robert McDevitt.