We used it so much that when we took a score, we didn't tell our agate man, Steve Piloni, "Downingtown East girls won,' followed by the score. We would just say "the Wizard won.'

He was just that way, game after game, year after year. Whether he had the most talented team or not, Schnure got the most out of every team. Sometimes that meant a trip to districts, sometimes that ended with a state title.

Talking to him after games was always a pleasure, win or lose. Bob always treated me with gracious and friendliness, no matter what end of the score he was on.

And, maybe that was part of the emotion that was spilling out of athletic director's Jack Helm's office on Thursday afternoon. Not just a celebration of a career that ranks among the best of any coach of any sport in the county, but an acknowlegement of the man that he is.

There is nothing that screams out about Schunre, he waited as long as he could before talking to me, and when he does speak, it is with a quiet, almost professorial type of way that is soothing, yet mezmerizing at the same time.

Yet, do not equate that quietness for a lack of strength or having a problem with getting his point across, as East athletic director Jack Helm learned during his time as football coach.

"I was never Bob's boss, he was mine,' Helm said. "Whatever Bob wanted, he got.

"From day one when I was in his class, I knew he was different when he was my teacher. I was always afraid of him because he was always very quiet, but he was always very direct and you knew where you stood with Bob.


"Bob had the persona that he was respected by everyone. He immediately commanded your respect and every coach here respects what Bob does and who Bob is. Somebody will be in the gym and I would say ' Bob needs the gym,' and right away, they will blow the whistle and Bob comes in. He did the same thing when we were coaches. I would be in the weight room and Bob would stick his head in the door and say ' Jack, I would like to use the weightroom.' Well, we would get 120 kids out of the weightroom, so he could use it for 20 minutes.'

Basketball and football are two very different sports, and football coaches have a knack for being tough men, but Helm learned one golden rule: If someone knows more than you do, you'd better listen.

"I always tried to pick his brain,' Helm added. "Different situations we would talk about. Different things like how to deal with a problem kid, how to deal with not being able to practice for a while. We were able to incorporate that. He was one of the reasons that we were successful as a football team. He never knew that, but he was one of the reasons we were successful.'

Schnure's influence casts a bigger shadow more than just in games and titles won, according to Downingtown West coach Dave Johnson.

"If you know your history, girls coaches didn't get paid as much as guys coaches,' he said. "He's the one that made that even. That's big. Other coaches who are coching other sports, owe him a great deal.'

As Helm pointed out, Schnure did not go out losing touch with the sports or his players. He got as much out of them in his 35th season as in his first.

The numbers would take a week to rattle off, 769 total wins — 298 in the Ches-Mont, 97 in district play and 55 in states. Five PIAA crowns, the first coming in 1987 and the last in 1998. I was there for win No. 700 in 2010. It was during a Christmas tournament in Boyertown and I was struck by the number of people who came during the afternoon to celebrate the milestone. And the respect the Boyertown administration paid to the event.

But that alone didn't define what kind of person Schnure is, as encapsulated by a story from assistant coach Jim Schmidt.

"We had just won the league championship at Coatesville and we got on the bus and Bob pulled out his phone, and I'm thinking I know he doesn't have to call the game in. I wonder what he is doing. He called one of our freshmen who had to guard Jamie Walsh every practice, but she was ill and wasn't at the game. And that was the first thought he had, was to call her on the way back and let her know how important she was to the team,' Schmidt said.

"Working with Bob is easy. I know we never had a cross word between us in all the time we've been together.'

While Schnure impressed upon everyone there that this was not a funeral and he will still be around, you would have had a hard time telling that from the emotions of Johnson, Helm and sophomore Paige Warfel.

"I not afraid to say there were tears in a lot of adults' eyes — mine included — when he let us know,' Helm said.

Schnure's name is etched on the Downingtown East court, and his legacy, both on and off the court, will be etched in the minds and hearts of the community for a long time going forward.

The Wizard has worked one more piece of magic.