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BOB ZELINKA

inductee socal jewish sports hall of fame

Football - 2018

Bob Zelinka began his career at Fairfax High School, where he was named an All-City athlete twice, and was named Western Conference Player of the Year and B'nai Bírith Athlete of the Year. He went on to play at Santa Ana Junior College as an All-Conference player and then spent the next two years (1950-51) at UCLA playing on both the offensive and defensive lines.

Zelinka's coaching career began at UCLA as the freshman coach, one of the very first Bruin Jewish football coaches. He then coached at Oregon State University under Tommy Protho and helped the team to the 1957 Rose Bowl as the Offensive Line Coach. In 1964 as the Head Assistant Coach, he implemented the Tiger "I" formation offense, which OSU used to replace the "I" formation – that had helped Terry Baker win the 1962 Heisman Trophy. His offensive coaching sparked the Beavers to a 8-3 overall record and a spot in the 1965 Rose Bowl against Michigan with Zelinkaís new system in the forefront.