SALEM – Bob Rotanz, the “Southern Yankee” who co-founded Mac and Bob’s Restaurant in Salem – which Roanoke College President Mike Maxey called “the heart of Salem” – and helped spread lacrosse across Southwest Virginia, today received the Charles Brown Award from Roanoke College.
The annual award recognizes a person who contributes to the life of the Salem community and Roanoke College.
Rotanz, a Roanoke College graduate, scored the 1978 winning goal when Roanoke College was in the lacrosse national championship and was the National Lacrosse Player of the Year.
He stayed in Salem after graduation ad he and Jim “Mac” McEnerney, another 1978 RC grad, opened the restaurant that grew from a 10-stool sub pub to today’s 230 seat-restaurant.
Rotanz coached one of the first high school lacrosse teams in the Roanoke Valley as a volunteer with Patrick Henry High School students, and has promoted lacrosse across the valley and Southwest Virginia. He also feeds sports teams at the restaurant, raises money for Down’s syndrome children and does so much besides the scene that will never be known, Maxey said.
Rotanz’s wife, Wendy, who is also a RC graduate was with him as he accepted the award this morning. The award was named for Dr. Charles Brown, the first true dean of Roanoke College who was also mayor of the then-Town of Salem.
For more details, read the Oct. 10 print edition of the Salem Times-Register.