Bob Dro

Photo: IU Archives

Bob Dro Biography

Robert Dro was an American basketball player born in Berne, Indiana that played for Indiana University. Dro started at guard all three seasons for the Hoosiers between 1938 and 1941 and was a part of the Indiana’s first national championship team in 1940. As a dual-sport athlete, Dro played baseball and basketball for Indiana all three years before moving up to the professional leagues. His career was cut short due to injury and he later went on to serving in the Navy during World War II. Dro eventually returned to Bloomington where he worked in an administrative position for over 30 years before his eventual passing in May of 2006.

  • Name: Robert Chester Dro
  • Position: Guard
  • Nationality: USA
  • Birthday: October 12, 1918
  • Death: May 4th, 2006 (87 years old)
  • Hometown: Berne, Indiana
  • High School: Berne High School
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm)
  • Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
  • Seasons at Indiana: 3 (1938-1939, 1939-1940, 1940-1941)
  • Jersey: #21, #38, #43
  • Professional Career: National Basketball League: Indianapolis Kautsky’s (1941-1942) / Minor League Baseball: Grand Rapids Colts – Brooklyn Dodgers Organization (1941)

Player Accolades and Awards

  • NCAA Champion (1940)
  • Second-team All-Big Ten (1940)
  • First-team All-Big Ten (1941)
  • Honorary Captain (1941)
  • Look Magazine All-American (1941)
  • Member of Indiana High School Basketball Silver Anniversary Team (1962)
  • Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee (1978)
  • Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee (1986)

Bob Dro High School Career

Bob Dro played for Berne High School all four years while he was in school. The dual-sport athlete excelled in both baseball and basketball during his time at Berne. Dro won multiple sectional titles as a basketball player and took his team to the state tournament his sophomore season. The next year, the former guard’s team went undefeated during the season. After his high school career was over, Dro decided to attend Indiana University to play for Coach Branch McCracken and the Hoosiers.

Photo: Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

Bob Dro Seasons with the Hoosiers

1938-1939 Indiana Basketball Season
Branch McCracken (1st Season)
17-3 (9-3 Big Ten)
🥈 2nd Place Big Ten

1939-1940 Indiana Basketball Season
Branch McCracken (2nd Season)
20-3 (9-3 Big Ten)
🥈 2nd Place Big Ten
🏆 NCAA Champions
1940-1941 Indiana Basketball Season
Branch McCracken (3rd Season)
17-3 (10-2 Big Ten)
🥈 2nd Place Big Ten

Bob Dro Indiana University Career

As a 6-foot guard, Dro played his collegiate career in Bloomington, Ind. for the Hoosiers from 1938 to 1941. The former Berne High School standout started all three seasons at Indiana. In his first season, Indiana won 17 out of 20 games finishing second in the Big Ten with a nine-and-three conference record.

The 1940 season was Dro’s second at Indiana and it turned out to be a banner year in Bloomington. Dro received Second-team All Big-Ten honors as the Hoosiers won 20 games overall with a back-to-back second place finish in the conference. Playing in the East Regional in Indianapolis, Dro and the team entered the 1940 NCAA Tournament as the number one overall seed. McCracken’s team outscored opponents 147 to 96 in three straight game including a 60-42 win against Kansas in the title game to capture Indiana’s first national championship in school history.

Photo: IU Athletics

The 1941 season was Dro’s final season playing for the Hoosiers. Coming off a national championship, Indiana went 17-and-3 on the season recorded a runner-up finish in the Big Ten for the third straight season. Dro was named an honorary captain for the team in his final season of play and received First-team All-Big Ten honors for his performance and named a Look Magazine All-American.

While playing basketball for Indiana, Dro played for the Hoosier’s baseball team all three years as well. During that time, his athletic ability and skill level enabled him to play every position on the field except for pitcher. After his time in Bloomington, Dro took his professional career to both the hardwood and the diamond.

Bob Dro Professional Career

Dro played professionally in the National Basketball League for the Indianapolis Kautsky’s during the 1941 to 1942 season. He took his talents back to the diamond to play for the Grand Rapids Colts, a Minor League team under the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. Dro played for one season in 1941 where he recorded 40 hits on 168 at-bats for a .238 average with seven home runs. Injury ended up forcing Dro to quit his playing career early for both sports.

Bob Dro Life After Basketball

After his career finished, Dro became a teacher and coach back in Pendelton, IN. He later joined the Navy and served during World War II as an Ensign before being promoted to Lieutenant. When the war was over, the former Naval officer went back to Indiana to teach and coach in Bluffton.

The former national champion returned to Bloomington and later began working for the university for over 30 years. Dro worked in the athletic department as an assistant and associate athletic director before becoming a member of the university’s relation staff.

In 1978, Dro was inducted into the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame and then later inducted into the Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.

On May 4, 2006 at 87 years-of-age, Bob Dro passed away due to problems with Alzheimer’s disease.

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