The connection between Steinert High School and Bob Hutchinson is a strong one.

A Steinert Spartan from 1967-70, he returned to his alma mater to serve as a teacher and coach from 1977 to 2009.

“Steinert High School has been a huge part of my life since 1967 and still is today,” he said. “I have always thought of the Steinert community as a second family. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach at Steinert and to have been associated with so many outstanding students, athletes, coaches, staff members and administration.”

The Hutchinson family has had an impact on Steinert for years and years. Hutch’s son David is also being inducted into the Steinert High School Athletic Hall of Fame this year.

“Having the opportunity to coach both my daughter (Jennifer) and son is something that not too many people can experience and I am extremely grateful,” Bob said.

Bob’s coaching career for the Green & White was largely with the basketball and softball programs at SHS.

The highlights were many, including championship seasons in 1994 and ’95 with the girls’ basketball programs and from 2003-2007 with the Spartan softball teams.

There were many great moments for teams piloted by Hutch during a seven-year stretch from 2003-09 that included lots of headline-grabbing feats from the softball field, and other milestones that came from the basketball court in the 1990s.

“Winning the school’s first state championship in softball in 2004,” he begins the list.

“Beating a 30-0 Rancocas Valley team in the 2004 Central Jersey Group IV final. RV was ranked No. 1 in the state.

“Winning the first (Mercer County Tournament) championship in school history in girls’ basketball (1994).

“The seventh-inning comeback from being down 2-0 to beat Hamilton West and win the MCT softball championship in 2003.”

During that seven-year softball stint, Hutch and the Spartans compiled a 156-41 record as they posted 20-plus wins every season.

He also influenced the softball program from 1980 to 2002 as the JV coach and impacted the boys’ basketball program from1996 to 2009 working with the JV and freshman programs.

He says he has a long list of people to thank for his positive experiences as a coach.

“There are so many people who have had a positive influence on my coaching career,” he said. “From the coaches that I had as a player (he played at SHS and Trenton State College), to the other coaches who surrounded me at Steinert during my career.”

There’s also a person who never sat with Hutch on the bench with a clipboard in hand.

“Without the sacrifices that my wife Nancy made while I was coaching, I would not have been able to continue for so many years,” he said. “She never coached 1 second, but deserves much of the credit for what I was able to accomplish.”

Currently, his work days are spent near Steinert, serving as a vice principal at Reynolds Middle School.

His hobbies include golf and swimming and another favorite activity is enjoying his grandchildren Joey, age 7; and Leah, age 3.