Bob Rives
Vanderbilt CommodoresNo. 8
Tackle Graduate
Major: {{{major}}}
Date of birth: (1903-11-12)November 12, 1903
Place of birth: Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Career history
High school: Hopkinsville
Vanderbilt (1923–1925)
Career highlights and awards
*SoCon championship (1923)

Robert Franklin "Bob" Rives (November 12, 1903 – March 1, 1956) was an American football tackle. He played college football for Vanderbilt University.

Early yearsEdit

Bob Rives was born on November 12, 1903 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky to R. H. Rives.

High schoolEdit

A guard on the Hopkinsville Tigers's undefeated 1920 team, he "won greater college football fame than probably any other graduate of the high school."[1][2] He refereed high school football games throughout Tennessee for several years prior to his death.

College footballEdit

Rives played for Dan McGugin's Vanderbilt Commodores football teams from 1923 to 1925.[3] Bob was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He was a starter for the 1924 game against Minnesota, Vanderbilt's first victory over a Northern school.[4] Rives was deemed an All-Southern tackle in 1924 and 1925.


After two disappointing losses to the Michigan Wolverines and Texas Longhorns, the Commodores started "back up the slope"[5] with a 17 to 0 victory over Tulane. The first score came when Rives, Tom Ryan, Bo Rowland, and Lynn Bomar broke through the line on a punt, with Bomar getting the block. Center Alf Sharpe dove to recover the football in the end zone for the touchdown.[6][7] Along with Bomar, surely the star of the game,[5] Rives played well, called "No. 1 gallant in the line."[6] Nine writers voted Rives All-Southern.

In the sixth week of play Vanderbilt beat rival Tennessee in a dominating 51 to 7 win. Rives, Bomar, and Sharpe on defense helped hold the Volunteers to only 7.[8] With the win Vanderbilt was still a contender for the Southern title. The next week Vanderbilt again won big, over the Georgia Bulldogs 35 to 7. Again on defense Bomar and Rives shared the credit.[9] Halfback Gil Reese scored 9 touchdowns over these two games. In the final week of play on Thanksgiving Day, the Florida Gators upset the Alabama Crimson Tide in the rain by a score of 16 to 6, helping ensure Vanderbilt's Southern championship.[10] This is the last conference title for Vanderbilt in football. Then Florida players Cy Williams, Goldy Goldstein, and Ark Newton would be teammates of Rives's on the Newark Bears of the first American Football League in 1926.


Rives started every game at tackle during the 1924 season, dubbed by Fred Russell "the most eventful season in the history of Vanderbilt football."[6] Vanderbilt avenged last year's scoreless tie against Mississippi A & M with an 18 to 0 victory. Rives was the star of the Commodores' line that game.[6] He was a starter for the 16–0 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Memorial Stadium, Vanderbilt's first victory in it history over a Northern school.[6] The first touchdown came at the end of a 63-yard drive when Rives opened a hole for Tom Ryan.[11] At year's end, Rives was selected All-Southern.


Rives was the only Vanderbilt player to make All-Southern in 1925.

Professional footballEdit

He played professionally for the Newark Bears of the American Football League in 1926. Doug Wycoff, fullback from Georgia Tech, was a teammate. The team played only five games before folding in October 1926.[12]


Rives died at his residence in Old Hickory, Tennessee on March 1, 1956.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Rites Saturday For Bob Rives". Kentucky New Era. March 2, 1956.,4018399.
  2. "Well, You Don't Win Them All". Kentucky New Era. October 7, 1969.,651267.
  3. "Bob Rives".
  4. Traughber, William L. Vanderbilt Football: Tales of Commodore Gridiron History. Charleston, SC: History, 2011, p.81-82
  5. 5.0 5.1 Template:Closed access Ed Hebert (October 29, 1923). "Jubilant Greenies En Route To 'Nooga For Week Of Rest". Times-Picayune.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Russell, Fred, and Maxwell Edward Benson. Fifty Years of Vanderbilt Football. Nashville, TN, 1938, p. 42-43
  7. Template:Closed access Rolfs, George (October 15, 1924). "Vandy Will Face More Formidable Foe This Season". Times-Picayune.
  8. "Tennessee Is Swamped By Vandy". Times-Picayune. November 11, 1923.
  9. Morgan Blake (November 22, 1923). "Gil Reese Stars As Commodores Defeat Athenians". The Red and Black.
  10. cf. "Bama Hopes To Win Cup". Times-Picayune. November 28, 1923.
  11. "Gophers Beaten By Vanderbilt Commodores, 16-0". Spartanburg Herald. November 22, 1924.,4751370.
  12. "Goldstein, Erving "Goldy"". Retrieved September 5, 2014.

Template:1924 College Football Composite All-Southerns Template:1925 College Football Composite All-Southerns

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