Bob Warner BA'75

A man standing in front of snow-capped mountains.

July 2019

Bob Warner BA’75
Customer Service Manager
Ashburn Golf Club

“That’s what Saint Mary’s is all about. A small community within, unbelievable willingness to share and contribute, and a personal connection felt everywhere.”

What made you decide to attend Saint Mary’s University after having gone pro with the Johnstown Jets? What drew you to the Bachelor of Arts program?

I was with the Johnstown Jets to get noticed. Sometimes, you have to do something to get recognized for your potential and capabilities. With the Johnstown Jets, there was an opportunity to attend another training camp, which I did. While there, the coach of the Huskies at that time, Bob Boucher, and the coach of the Voyageurs, Al McNeil, discussed me going to Halifax and playing as the fifth or sixth defenseman. I then followed that opportunity to play at Saint Mary’s and I chose the BA program in particular because I wanted to teach.

In the fall, you’ll be co-chairing the Hockey Reunion at Saint Mary’s with Courtney Schriver-Richard BA’11. What are you most looking forward to about the reunion? 

I never really left the scene. I’ve been involved in a number of alumni events and it’s always been a goal of mine to keep in touch with the past. Staying connected means that I don’t miss out on anything, there’s no surprises, and I can share the news with former teammates. I’m really looking forward to seeing the new rink, the Dauphinee Centre, come to life.

In terms of your time playing with the Huskies, what are your most memorable moments?

For the four years that I was on the team, we were in the National Final each year. We never won, but when you have a chance to go to university and play for one of the best teams in Canada you cherish it and the whole experience becomes remarkable.

Who are/were some of your teammates that impacted your life the most?

There were a lot of people that influenced me. The people that my wife and I met during that time have turned into life-long friends. It was a very connected athletic community at that time, everyone would go to events and meetings. The coaches did such a great job of bringing everyone together and unifying us. It truly was a bond, one that stands to this day.

In 1999, you were inducted into Saint Mary’s Sport Hall of Fame. How did that feel? What did that recognition mean to you?

The recognition is huge. Whenever your peers acknowledge you it’s significant. I think that student-athletes are very special to any organization. So, being recognized in that way was a huge feather in my cap. However, the whole venture at Saint Mary’s was memorable. Getting my degree, the friendships I made and still have, the fact that teammates are contacting me already about the reunion - it’s amazing!

Could you tell us about your career path after you graduated from SMU? We see that you’re currently the Customer Service Manager at Ashburn Golf Club, what is your role?

The important thing, and common thread, throughout my entire career, has been customer service. My first professional job outside of hockey was with Hersey Canada and the general manager there put me through a Dale Carnegie course. The customer service, sales, and marketing concepts I learned took me through my experiences with Hersey Canada, Koho Hockey, and Sun & Snow Sporting Goods. Moosehead Breweries in sales and marketing would be the ultimate in customer service work in my career. At Ashburn Golf Club, I listen, step back, and help – customer service in a nutshell. Every day there is something new and that’s what I really enjoy. That plus the connections and relationships I’ve made.

What moments in your career have been the most rewarding/exciting so far?

In hockey, it was being called up for my first NHL game and scoring. Another highlight was getting my degree from Saint Mary’s. That was a family goal I achieved as the only person in my family to graduate from university. Also, it was very rewarding to sign a contact, which enabled me to pay off my student loan. On the personal side, the birth of my children was the most special occasion.

Do you feel your experiences playing hockey impacted your career choices?

When I was the captain of the Huskies, the team encountered a lot - both good and bad experiences. There was a death in the family and other personal issues within the team. Looking back, I wish I had been better prepared to deal with these matters. However, those experiences did shape my career because my desire to help people led me into customer service. Again, it comes back to listening, taking a step back, and helping.

Do you stay connected with fellow alumni and/or former Huskie players?

Yes, I do. It’s a village. When you hear something, you take it back to the group, keep everyone informed, and get their input. Looking back on my career, I think I would have enjoyed being involved in alumni relations actually.

If you could sum up your hockey career in a sentence or two, what would you say? 

No life like it!

When you reflect on SMU, is there anything that makes you nostalgic about your time on campus?

The beauty of Saint Mary’s is also in its presidents. In my years there, my wife and I got to know each president personally. The presidents walked the halls, went to the hockey and football games, even to the library, and they would come over and engage you in a conversation. That’s what Saint Mary’s is all about. A small community within, unbelievable willingness to share and contribute, and a personal connection felt everywhere.