Mr. Brunette is what everyone calls a true ambassador of the game of soccer. Bob attended Quincy College where his athleticism became evident. His first loves of sports was not soccer, but baseball and football. He excelled in both sports and in 1997 was inducted in the Sports Hall of Fame under the banners of Baseball and Football.
On his return to St. Louis, his first assignment as a teacher was at St. Mary’s High School and from 1950-1955 became their soccer coach and the same passion he had for other sports was now directed to the game of soccer. It was at St. Mary’s that a friendship evolved with Dennis Long and their brotherhood continues to this day.
In 1970, Mr. Brunette made a move to Affton High School and began the soccer program that continues today, where the team plays on the field dedicated in his honor. In 1971, a dream that Mr. Long had envisioned started taking shape. The concept of bringing together a group of young men, a wizard of Dutch Football, and a local coach by the name of Bob Brunette, that went under the name of The Busch Soccer Team. From 1971 -1987 the team became a power in St. Louis and more individuals wanted to be a part of the program, thus The Busch Soccer Club was formed. In the 1980-81 season, Bob managed his Busch Soccer Team to a National Amateur Cup Championship and in the 1986-87 season managed the Budweiser Over-30 team to a National Championship.
While all this was happening, Mr. Brunette became the Director of the Busch Soccer Club from 1986-89, was recipient of the Walter Geisler Award in 1986 and held front office positions with the St. Louis Steamers, Ambush and Storm.
Bob Brunette was inducted into the St. Mary’s Hall of Fame in 1994.
Bob Brunette was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame in 1996.
| THE HISTORY OF THE MSGR. JIMMY JOHNSTON AWARD
The 1919-1920 Soccer Season saw the Ben Millers of the Local amatuer league win the National Open Cup Title by besting a team of professionals from Fore River, Mass. The Ben Millers were composed of all native St. Louisans, the first of many National Championships made up of American born players to capture the Cup. The winning goal was scored by the great Jimmie Dunn, as the Millers won 2-1. The captain and halfback was Msgr. Jimmie Johnston (at that time he was a seminarian). In 1970, Msgr. Johnston organized a 50th reunion of the remaining members of that squad. They gathered at the Carpenters Hall on Hampton, and had such a great time, they decided to do it again in 1971 and invite other Soccer luminaries of the area to join them. Thus was born the "OLD TIME SOCCER PLAYERS HALL OF FAME IN ST. LOUIS". Twenty-two stars of the past were inducted on November 11, 1971. Since then, nearly 700 players, coaches, sponsors, referees and administrators from the past 120 years have been enshrined, many posthumously. In 2003, the organization adopted the name of "THE ST. LOUIS SOCCER HALL OF FAME". Msgr. Jimmy Johnston was born on December 8, 1896 and passed away June 11, 1979. A memorial plaque in his honor is presented at the yearly induction dinner to an individual who has possessed the same passion for the game and has spread the gospel of Soccer to make it the greatest sport in the world.