Robert L. Kilbourne

Class of 1942 / Inducted 1972 - Charter Member / Men's Basketball

Robert Kilbourne was a native of Big Stone Gap, Virginia. The Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame inductee was a versatile athlete who earned his greatest recognition on the basketball court. His career high was 43 points in one game, which was a school record at the time.

Kilbourne began his collegiate career at Hiwassee Junior College. While at Hiwassee, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He was president of the student body from 1939-40.

After transferring to Emory & Henry, Kilbourne became a starter on the basketball team. He led the state of Virginia in scoring with 453 points during the 1940-41 season. The 1941-42 season brought even greater success for the basketball star, scoring 467 points and breaking his own state record from the previous year. Though the team finished with an 11-11 record, most of their losses came from large schools like the University of Virginia.

In addition to basketball, Kilbourne lettered in football and track in 1940-42. He was vice-president of the student body during his senior year.

Kilbourne, an army veteran, was athletic director and basketball coach for Peabody Junior High and Petersburg Senior High School in Petersburg, Virginia. He was awarded Central District Basketball Coach of the Year in 1969 and 1970. The Virginia High School Coaches Association presented him with the “Outstanding Service Award” in 1970. He was also inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

Robert Lee Kilbourne passed away on July 20, 1997 at the age of 79.