Robert ‘Bobby’ Watson was in his first season as head coach of the Purple Aces. Prior to his arrival at UE, he served as an assistant coach at Oral Roberts. A native of Bethel Park, Pa., Watson was a star baseball and basketball player at Bethel Park High School. Watson went on to play basketball at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) where his 1964 team won the Southern Conference Championship and played in the NCAA Tournament.
A 9th round pick by the Baltimore Bullets in the NBA Draft, Watson instead chose to take a coaching position at Fleming High School in Roanoke, Va. with the football, basketball and track teams. Watson later joined the army where he served two stints in Vietnam. His other coaching stops included Xavier and Wake Forest Ferrum (Va.) Junior College.