Buena Vista Interim Director of Athletics Brian Van Haaften has announced that Bob Lenhart will retire at the conclusion of this athletics season. Lenhart has served as the department’s equipment manager for the last 14 years.
“Bob has been such a great part of our program,” says Van Haaften. “He will definitely be missed by all student-athletes and the coaches. The great thing about him is that he knew and loved all the student-athletes, and they all knew it. We wish him well in the future.”
Lenhart joined the athletics staff in 1998 after retiring from nearly 40 years in the hog buying and production business. He graduated from Buena Vista in 1958 after spending his first two years of college at Loras College.
A lifelong resident of Storm Lake, he graduated from Storm Lake St. Mary’s, and he and his wife Fran remain actively involved within the community, and can always be seen together at numerous athletic events.
“I’ve really enjoyed coming to work every day,” Lenhart says. “I truly love being able to interact on a daily basis with all of the athletes and coaches. My whole thing revolved around coming to work and helping to serve them.”
Lenhart maintained a regular schedule at BVU throughout the school year, seeing that all the practice clothes and the game laundry get washed each day, all the individual equipment gets handed out properly at the start of each season and then stored properly when the season is over.
“I’ll probably miss just being here every day the most,” he adds. It wasn’t about the laundry and all that which made it so much fun. It was the interaction with everyone. You will still see Fran and I at several of the ballgames, though.”
“He’s been a great mentor for our guys,” said head football coach Jay Anderson. “The players always have nothing but good things to say about him, and they have certainly built a lot of good friendships with him. He’s such a great organizer, and you never have to question whether something will get done the right way.”
“The women’s basketball program and I will miss him more because of the kind of guy he is,” says head women’s basketball coach Janet Berry. “Sure, he has been a pro in the laundry and equipment room, but he has been so much more than an equipment manager. He has been a beloved member of our staff and huge supporter of Beaver athletics. He has touched my life and many student-athletes’ lives with his quick wit, his caring nature and his wisdom. His departure will leave a huge whole in our department.”
Van Haaften says that a search for Lenhart’s replacement will begin soon.
Check out photos of our student-athletes in action in the Beaver sports photo galleries.