Robert Emmett "Sam" Kromer
Year Inducted: 1989
Sam was born April 15, 1927 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and was active in all sports while receiving his early education there. Upon graduation from high school he entered military service with the Navy Seabees in the post World War II occupation of China and the Philippines.
A coaching career was pursed upon leaving the Navy and following graduation from Slippery Rock State College; he taught and coached for 11 years at Springfield and Albion, Pennsylvania. Continuing his education, Sam earned a Masters Degree from Michigan State University in 1960 and came to St. Clair County Community College in 1962 to teach and coach basketball and golf.
Commencing with the 1964-65 season, Sam’s basketball “Skippers” won 5 straight Michigan Community College Athletic Association championships with season records of 21-1, 19-5, 27-1, 24-4 and 30-2. His overall career record of 214-114 ranked him among the Nation’s top coaches. The golf teams were also successful, finishing first place 4 times and in the league’s top four 9 times in 13 years of coaching, compiling an overall 143-83 record. Many of Sam’s athletes went on to successful careers at four-year schools, such as “Bubbles” Harris to Indiana University and Randy Anderson to Akron University. Joe Mericka, Al Perry, John Traub, Gary Tobiczyk and Mark Schultz are only a few of the notable golfers that began their college careers under Coach Kromer.
Sam has been active in community service, as President of the Port Huron Kiwanis Club and for The First Congregational Church. He is an active golfer and bowler and regularly officiates high school football games each fall. A Port Huron tennis tournament has been named in his honor to commemorate his major contribution to its organization. He originated the “flight tournament” concept of tennis competition. Sam was charter member of the Sports Hall of Fame Board of Trustees upon its inception in 1977.
Sam and wife, Dixie, have two children, Eric and Karen, and four grandchildren. He is now in his twentieth year as Athletic Director at St. Clair County Community College.