Robert Hettler* 2016


Amherst Central



Robert Hettler was born in Attica, NY and attended Attica High School where he played football, basketball, and baseball. He graduated from Springfield College in 1939 with a degree in Physical  Education.  He began his career with Amherst Central High School in 1940 where he was a physical education teacher and coach of basketball, baseball, soccer, and football.  In 1943, his teaching career was briefly interrupted when he joined the United States Navy to serve during World War II.   He retired from the Navy as a lieutenant and returned to Amherst High School in 1946. 

Robert was the boys’ varsity basketball coach at Amherst High School for 32 years.  During that time, he acquired an astounding 514 wins, 25 ECIC division titles, and 6 Section VI titles.  He holds the longest varsity basketball winning streak, 48 wins, from 1955-1958.  At the time he stepped down from the position, in 1977, he was the State’s winningest high school basketball coach of all time.  Robert was also Amherst High School’s varsity baseball coach for 33 years, over which, he acquired 329 wins. 

Robert’s most notable honors include induction into the Amherst High School Athletic Hall of Fame (1990), the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame (1993), New York State Basketball Hall of Fame (2004), and received the Buffalo Athletic Club Chairman’s Award, the Section VI 50th Year Basketball Coach Award, and Western New York Officials’ Award.

 In 2009, the Amherst Central High School’s south gym basketball court was dedicated to Robert.

"Het", as he was known by the generations of his players, became athletics director at Amherst in 1962 and continued in that capacity for several years after he retired from teaching.  He also continued to substitute teach and serve as a scorer and timer into the 1990's, influencing students and athletes at Amherst from the class of 1940 to the class of 2005. 

Robert passed away in 2006, at the age of 90, and is survived by his wife of 64 years, Magdalene, 2 children, Cynthia Hettler-Ingerson and Mike, two grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.

* Posthumously awarded