Around the Way with EJ: Virginia Sports Hall of Famer Bob Rotanz

SALEM, Va. – What a joy, an honor and privilege it was to catch up with the man, the myth, the legend himself — Bob Rotanz.

Most notably known for owning and operating popular restaurant Mac and Bob’s in Salem, the business man has a rich history in athletics — highlighted by a stellar college career on the lacrosse field.

A New York native, Rotanz learned about Roanoke College after a few of his high school teammates decided to attend the small, private college in the mid to late 1970s. It didn’t take much convincing for Rotanz to make the decision.

“I knew I wanted to play at the college level and at a smaller school,” Rotanz said.

And as they say, the rest was history. Rotanz was one of many standout players for the Maroons that helped lead the program to a 1978 National Championship. In fact, Rotanz scored what proved to be the winning goal in the final minute of play.

For all his efforts that season, Rotanz was named the 1978 National Player of the Year.

And after more than four decades, Bob Rotanz received the call from the Hall — the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame informing him that he’d be part of the 2023 class of inductees.

In our sit down, Bob and I talk not only about his playing days but also the high’s and lows of business, how the community have supported and continue to support Mac and Bob’s, and more.

About the Author

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

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