Robert “Bobby” Hughes, class of 1965, averaged double figures on the basketball court during all four seasons at Emory & Henry and served as co-captain his junior and senior years. A native of Gate City, Virginia, Hughes was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 for his accomplishments as an athlete as well as his efforts in furthering high school athletics after graduation.
As a member of the basketball team, Hughes scored 862 points in his career with a career average of 12.6 a game. He also pulled down 507 rebounds, bringing his average to 7.4 a game. During his senior year, he averaged 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.
Hughes taught and coached in Washington County, Virginia immediately after graduating. He then moved to Florida, where he continued his teaching career and graduated with a master’s degree in Education from Rollins College in 1970. Hughes climbed the administrative ladder, first as assistant principal, then principal, and finally serving as superintendent of schools for Seminole County and later Alachua County, Florida until 1998.
Hughes was a very decorated administrator. His awards included Superintendent’s Award from the Future Business leaders of America in 1982, 84, and 85; Council for Exceptional Children’s Award in 1985-86; and Life Membership into the Florida PTA, National PTA, and Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrator’s Association, to name a few.
Hughes left his role as superintendent to become commissioner of the Florida High School Athletic Association. During his tenure as commissioner, he grew the FHSAA staff from 17 to 25 full-time employees, increased participation from 580 to 684 member schools, and expanded the number of high school sports with official state championships in Florida. In 2002, the board of the FHSAA elected to name their new building the Robert W. Hughes Building in his honor. After heading the FHSAA from 1999-2005, Hughes retired to Banner Elk, North Carolina.