Bob Springer has a gridiron reputation for knowing his x's and o's.
Well, last fall, the former Marietta High interim football coach became more familiar with "y's" as why are there so many hungry children and people - right here in Marietta?
Caring enough to do something about it, Springer and his wife Jan visited the food pantry on the west side.
"This relationship started when we became aware of hunger issues right here in Marietta as a result of high school contacts," he said. "What we found was alarming. Some kids simply have nothing to eat when they go home."
Taking a tour of the pantry, the Springers learned that food is distributed to "120-130 folks" weekly.
"A look at the scant amount of food there to give away is really upsetting," Springer said.
Not surprisingly, the Springers went to the grocery store shortly thereafter and purchased cereal, canned beef, tuna, spaghetti sauce, soup, etc., for the pantry.
"If people have any interest in helping," Springer said, "they can drop off food to our house, and we will deliver it to the food bank. Or, you can go there on your own. It's on Lancaster Street. There is an old warehouse site and on the door is a yellowish sign designating the pantry."
The pantry is open every Wednesday for distribution, Springer said.
"Oh, yes, by the way, they're also looking for winter coats," he said.
What the world needs more of is caring people like Bob and Jan Springer.
Incidentally, Bob Springer received no salary as the Marietta Tigers interim head football coach last fall.
What he would've earned went toward feeding the players at the football camp and procuring concussion helmets.
Overall, he has 20 years of coaching football under his belt.
A 1964 Marietta College graduate, Springer was a trustee at the school for several years.
Springer's life-work resume also includes a stint as an Allstate executive, where he served as vice-president of human resources.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org