RIP Bob Hoffman


This text was sent to our FitForce Newsletter readers 1 Aug 2016.

Bob probably wasn't telling "fish stories" in this photo, but he loved to tell stories. For all of the years I taught with him, I marveled at both his experiences and his ability to weave them into whatever lesson he was teaching. As many of the readers of this newsletter know, "Hoff" was hugely accomplished: Bobby ran for one of America's great distance coaches, Frank Gagliardi, when both were at Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, NJ were Bobby grew up; while at RCHS, Bobby and three of his teammates won national championships in the distance medley and two-mile relays in the same year; The United States Military Academy at West Point was the next stop for Bob and a place he would return to often throughout the years to teach, coach, and later to visit. Bob had an illustrious career in the Army: he was a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War; he spent most of his 22 years in the Rangers including a stint as Director of Training at the Fitness School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and later as Commander of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion at Ft. Benning, Georgia; Bob retired as a Lt.Colonel.

After the military, Bob became the first and only director of FitForce. The development of FitForce by Human Kinetics in Champaign, IL over 20 years ago was the beginning of my association with Bob. I was one of the original faculty members along with Tom Tracey, Don Fialca, and Marty Michelman. In fact, at the inaugural FitForce Coordinator Course, held at Human Kinetics, there were six of us in total including Bob and Mike Bahrke and only four course participants! FitForce was an original idea of Tom Collingwood. For those of us in LE fitness, Tom is kind of our grandfather; he's the guy who put Cooper's Institute on the map in law enforcement physical fitness. The creation of FF, with Tom as the technical adviser and Bobby as the director, was the beginning of great friendship between the two of them.

After I acquired FF, Bob stayed at HK for a time then moved on to Huntersville, NC to live and work. He joined Bob Thomas and Randy Means, and together they conducted seminars and consulted with the law enforcement community nationwide as part of Thomas & Means, LLC and on his own as Hoffman and Associates. H&A, along with Tom Collingwood's Fitness Intervention Technologies were the long-time consultant team for FitForce. It has been my unique honor to work with, learn from, and grow with Tom and Bob.

Last year, Bobby was supposed to meet me in Arkansas to help teach a course with the Game & Fish Commission. He wasn't able to make the trip due to headaches and pressure. It was quickly determined a tumor in Bob's brain was the cause. It won't surprise anybody that knew him to know that Bobby fought bravely and remained positive throughout the ordeal. This letter is to inform the community that Bob Hoffman passed away this past Saturday, 30 July 2016.

Bobby's contributions to law enforcement and LE physical fitness were substantial and many of the folks on this list have and will continue to benefit from them and hopefully from their own experiences with Bob. Please keep Bob, his beautiful wife of 47 years, Barbara, and their children Jessica and Jeffrey in your prayers. A workout today (Bobby called it "Play") and a cold beer tonight would both be fitting tributes, if you're so inclined!

Rangers Lead The Way

Stay Safe, Stay Strong.

Jay Smith