For nearly 60 years, local sports fans have watched Roseburg basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams compete in the gymnasium located on the high school campus. Douglas County Sports Online is proud to honor the gym's namesake Stewart W. Robertson as its latest DC Great.
Robertson graduated from St. Francis High School (Marist) in Eugene and went on to play college basketball at the University of Oregon from 1958-60. After college, he accepted a teaching position at RHS and also became an assistant coach for the boys varsity basketball program for two seasons. Stewart left Douglas County to take the head coaching job at Central High in Portland where he would lead the school to a fourth place finish at the AAA state tournament in 1965.
Later that year, Robertson made his way back to Roseburg when he was hired as the school's head boys basketball coach. In nine seasons, he compiled an overall record of 132-74.
"When I first arrived at Roseburg, Stew wanted to continue coaching football and stayed on to help the sophomore team," RHS head football coach Thurman Bell said. "We got to know each other very well and he asked me to become an assistant coach with the basketball team."
"He had a great personality and was a fierce competitor and the kids loved him."
Robertson led the Indians to the state tournament three times ('67,'69,'73) during his tenure and after the 1972-73 season was named the state's 'Coach of the Year' after guiding a Roseburg team, led by Tom Loomis and Rich Parson, to a runner-up finish at the AAA tournament.
Sadly, the 36-year old would coach just one more season before dying suddenly following an allergic reaction to a bee sting during Labor Day weekend in 1974.
The Roseburg Gymnasium, which opened in 1954, was dedicated in Robertson's honor one year after his death. Today, 37 years later, Roseburg sports fans continue to flock to Stewart W. Robertson Memorial Gymnasium to watch his beloved Indians play the game in which he dedicated his life.