A shifty running back and fearless competitor, Bob Arrix ‘51 symbolized the greatness and gritty determination of coach Mickey Shuman’s 1950 undefeated squad. If the word “superstar” had been in usage back in the early 1950’s, it would have been the best way to label this Old Gold and Blue two-way standout. When it came to advancing the football, his breakaway speed and power made him a constant threat to score anytime he touched the ball.
The former all-state back from Teaneck, N.J., graduated from high school at age 16 and called his postgraduate year at Peddie his “springboard” for future success. During the historic 1950 campaign, Arrix tallied nine touchdowns and kicked 22 extra points for a team-leading 76 points, while opponents scored only 35 points.
For every undefeated season, there is a signature game. Down 21-0 at halftime against archrival Lawrenceville, Arrix spurred a second-half scoring spree and delivered a momentum- changing interception to a thrilling 26-21 victory over the Larries before a capacity homecoming crowd. In the classic finale at Blair, Arrix capped off a storybook season with two first-half touchdowns en route to a 21-0 victory.
On Dec, 18 1950 at the Yale Club in NYC during a special Peddie alumni gathering honoring the Shuman gridders, the Newark News presented a ring to Robert J. Arrix for earning first team All- State recognition.
From the Old Gold and Blue to the Blue and Gold of Notre Dame, Arrix played under Hall of Fame coach Frank Leahy. During the sophomore year for the Irish, he set a modern Notre Dame record for field goals, including a key three-pointer against USC to cement a 9-0 victory in one of the most dramatic games ever played in South Bend. A severe knee injury curtailed his career during his junior season, but he stayed on to coach freshman backs.
A “nose for the end zone” and ability to come through in the clutch, Arrix gave his team his very best.