Lippert, Robert (Bob) (2018)
I want to thank my wife Cathy, daughter Melissa and son BL for tolerating all of the late meals they had to put up with. Most years I coached from March to November. Though, traveling to away games and tournaments was almost always a good time. I would like to thank my former players who wrote letters on my behalf to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. A special thank you to Aaron Vachon who spearheaded the effort through social media. I had no idea until I received the “call”. - Bob Lippert
“I know he has changed my life for the better and will change anyone else’s life that is lucky enough to call him Coach.”
- Kevin Brunelle
“I don’t know one kid who has had the privilege of being coached by Coach Lippert and doesn’t look back fondly on the man. With Coach, you win at baseball, but more importantly, you learn how to win in life.”
- Jason Burns
“I wouldn’t be the man I am today without his caring, tough love, lessons on how to deal with adversity, always standing behind his players…and doing the little things right.” - Mike Greve
“From the age of 9 until I graduated from high school, Coach Lippert was a mainstay at my games and practices. He was a coach who inspired, taught, loved, disciplined and won. I always looked forward to seeing Coach Lippert and learning about America’s pastime from such a remarkable coach and man.” - Aaron Vachon
“Coach Lippert didn’t just enhance the level of baseball being played in the city of Augusta...he made the entire city of Augusta a better place by molding generations of boys into men.”
- Trever Benedict
Bob was born in a Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia to Bob and Alice Lippert in 1950. He was the middle child between older sister, Pauline, and younger sister, Faith. His father was a career Navy man, so the Lippert family moved every two to three years. It may come as a surprise to some that Bob’s deep passion for baseball actually started with his exposure to fast pitch softball. His dad was an outstanding pitcher who pitched in the All-Navy tournament several times and the All-World tournament once. While Bob’s father was stationed in Cheltenham, Maryland (1957-1960), Bob was the bat boy & shagged balls during batting practice. The Navy base team played games in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, and Bob always tagged along on their road trips. The team traveled from Washington D.C. to Brunswick, Maine in 1960 to play in the Eastern Regional Tournament. Ironically, Bob didn’t make that trip, and he wouldn’t reach Maine for another 5 years.
He first played organized baseball in Little League on Andrews Air Force base in Maryland. The teams were the Rockets, Missiles, Bombers, Fighters, Jets…names that have likely changed since then. In the Fall of 1960, Bob’s father was transferred to the island of Adak in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, where there was no organized baseball. Instead, there were a lot of pick up games with six or seven on a side and opposite field hits that were automatic outs. Next, his family moved to San Miguel in the Philippines. There, Bob started his high school career playing shortstop as an eighth grader, and played short again his freshman year. In 1965, Bob’s father was transferred to Winter Harbor, Maine, where Bob played third base for Ellsworth High. The Eagles were the Penobscot Valley Conference Class L champions in 1966 and 1967. He was a captain in 1968, but unfortunately the Eagles did not three-peat.
As a freshman at the University of Georgia, Bob planned on walking on the baseball team, but instead he walked on the freshman football team, marking the end of his organized baseball playing days. His new passion was football, and he played one year in the Atlantic Coast Football League in 1973.
After football ended, Bob started his working career in 1974 with the U.S. Geological Survey in Augusta, where he stayed until 2000. His passion for kids led him to his next role, teaching at Hall-Dale High School for nine years. Bob is now retired, but works almost full time at Easy Mart convenience store in Augusta, where he’s been since 2010.
Bob and his wife, Cathy, were married in September of 1976. They have 2 children, a daughter, Melissa, and a son, BL. His football days not long behind him and his family in place, Bob started coaching football at Cony High School in 1981. Bob still coaches the Rams today, alongside his son, BL, who is the head coach. Cony won the Class B Football State Championship in 2013, with both father and son on the coaching staff.
Over on the diamond, his coaching career began with Augusta North Little League in 1987. Augusta North didn’t have a Tee Ball League, so Bob organized the first Tee Ball League and coached Melissa and BL. He coached his children in Farm League, and also began coaching the Augusta North Little League All-Star team in 1989. Augusta North won the Little League State Championship in 1990 and 1991, making Augusta North the first league in Maine to ever win back-to-back Maine State Titles.
Committed to volunteering with kids of all ages, during his “down time” from Augusta North, Bob also began to help Cony High School coach Jeff Trundy (’13) with the Cony varsity team. In 1995, Bob officially moved into the Cony dugout where he stayed until 2000. During Bob’s tenure, Cony played in the Eastern Maine Class A Finals in 1995, 1996, 1998-2000. They lost the State Championship game in 1998 and 1999.
In 1995, Bob began coaching Augusta Babe Ruth baseball, and has coached All Star teams at a variety of levels. He coached 13 year-old All Star teams to the State Title in 1995, 1998 and 2016. His Augusta 14 year-old All Star teams won State Titles in 2006 and 2017. Lastly, his Augusta 13-15 year-old All Star teams won State Titles in 1997 and 2007. Both teams also won the New England Regional Championship and advanced to the World Series, held in Washington in 1997, and in Alabama in 2007.
Along the way, Bob also had a few teams that came up short. In 2003, Bob helped coach Augusta West Little League to the State Title. In 2004, they lost 2-0 in the championship game, coming just shy of a repeat of the back-to-back titles won by the Augusta North team in the 1990’s. Bob’s 2008 Babe Ruth 13-15 year-old All Stars made it to the State Finals and lost to Westbrook, 8-6. Bob also helped coach Augusta American Legion Post 205 in 1999-2000 and again in 2008-2011. They lost State championship games in 2000, 2010 and 2011. In over 80 years, Augusta has yet to win an American Legion title.
Bob is a coach who is often described as “old school” because he’s a firm and direct leader, a coach who always lets a player know where they stand, who sets clear expectations and boundaries. He’s a coach who values the importance of practice and repetition, and that repetition isn’t limited to just the drills he runs on the field. Generations of kids have heard Bob say things like “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” and “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” Many of Bob’s former players have cited life lessons learned from him on the diamond as a foundation for the adults they are today.
All in all, Bob has coached with a lot of good “baseball” men. He has been fortunate to coach 9 Division I players and 32 Division III players. Augusta has been an outstanding city for baseball. From 1990 to 2011, an Augusta team played for a State Title in all but four years. In four of those years, Augusta baseball even played in two or more State Title games. He has been fortunate to coach at almost every level: Tee Ball, Farm League, Little League, Cony Middle School, Babe Ruth, Cony High School, American Legion and two years at Colby College.
This year, Augusta Babe Ruth is hosting the 13-15 year-old All Stars New England Regional tournament. Augusta plays today at 4:00pm against Vermont, and Bob will be in the dugout yet again.