Bob Mayes, who passed away at age 72 on April 27, was a lifelong Murfreesboro resident who made an impact in his community.

Mayes was a physics teacher at Oakland High School from 1972-1986. He was an instructional supervisor with Rutherford County in 1986-1987. He worked at the TSSAA for a year and taught at Walter Hill from 1988-1991.

“He wanted to get back to working with kids and students,” said longtime friend Butch Campbell, who hired Mayes when he was the principal at Walter Hill. “Bob went back to the Rutherford County Central Office as a supervisor of technology when computers came along. In 1995 he went to CPA and was known as a teaching pastor. He went to Antioch from 1999-2002 and back to Rutherford County until he retired (1994).

“Bob was such a kind and respected person. He was well known in a lot of areas. Bob was just a good man, and when I put it out on Facebook that he was ill, the comments were astronomical to me.”

Among the comments on Facebook were:

“Bob is a well-respected person and gentlemen.” — James Bennett

“A very good man.” — Randy King

“A good friend and official.” — Bart Fite

“I remember the times when we refereed Junior Pro.” — Ben Jamison

“The first time I put it on Facebook, there were 106 who made comments,” Campbell said. “After he passed away, there were 85 more comments. That’s 225 looks and 191 comments, and that’s pretty good for anybody.”

Many of us knew Bob from his days refereeing not just TSSAA football, basketball and baseball games, but youth and recreation games as well. He was very well respected. 

Mayes’ personality was awesome. He had such a great demeanor and the game was never about himself. More officials should be like Bob Mayes. 

“He was a basketball official and did football and baseball,” Campbell said. 

“He kept the scorebook at MTSU for basketball for three or four years when I was doing the clock. He did the state tournament as well.”

Mayes worked just one year for the TSSAA, but he made quite an impact. 

“Bob was a great person. He was obviously a great teacher,” said Ronnie Carter, who worked for the TSSAA for 31 years, including 23 as the organization’s executive director. “He brought so much to us in that he had been involved in so many sports, and as an assigner. He stepped into our organization and was a leader. He was a great, great person.

“The strength of his personality is what made him a good teacher. It made him a great official, and when he stepped into a leadership role with the association, he just dealt great with people, and not just Rutherford County but for Middle Tennessee and coaches across the state.”

Most die hoping to make some sort of an impact in their community. Bob Mayes did that and then some. 

Monte Hale Jr. is sports editor of The Murfreesboro Post. Email him at

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