Friday, September 15, 2023

Gunny Was a Remarkable Man

 It is with sadness that I report the passing of Roger "Gunny" Roll.  It is hard to describe Gunny in just words, but here are a few items I find interesting...

  • He was Coach Groves' best friend for many years.  Years that were difficult for him.
  • He would take 10 mile runs with the team in my early years.  Teams that were in the top-4 in the Division I NCAA XC. I probably couldn't do that 1 year after graduation!
  • He had more than 1 Purple Heart from Vietnam.  I think the number was three, but really "just 1" would garner my greatest respect.
  • He taught me many things in those days, sometimes in words, and sometimes by just watching how he interacted with the world around him.
  • I never heard him say a negative thing about anyone.  
  • He was a long-time Official for NCAA meets in both XC and Track and Field.

Never had an interaction with him that wasn't positive.  RIP  (Thanks to Mark Heckel for the photo and the word on the news.)

 We have lost all 3 of these giants of PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) in the last several years.


  1. Indeed it was 3 Purple Hearts, one with valor. He also was awarded the Legion of Merit, second only to the CMH. He was an amazing friend for 4 de decades.

  2. Thanks. I believe two of the Purple Hearts were to his lower extremities, making his running with us somewhat superhuman. And he was an even better person than that.


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