After an impressive career as a player, Bob Sawatzky went into coaching, winning four medals with Saskatoon teams at the Canadian championships and coaching Canada's national team to gold medal triumphs at the Pan-American Games twice.
Bob grew up in Hague, which was right in the heart of Saskatchewan softball country. As a boy in elementary school, he was the catcher and the school's principal, Carl Ens, often pitched in games against the high school team.
Bob played senior men's softball with College Lads, Medallions and Burnells, 1965 through 1968. He went to Calgary to play for 10 years, playing on six Alberta championship teams and once winning a silver medal at the Canada Summer Games. He also played second base and was team captain two of the four years he was with BetaWell Braves in the Western Canada Major League.
Bob returned to Saskatoon and became coach of the All-O-Matics, 1980 through 1983, and Rempel Brothers in 1984, and his teams won two silver and two bronze medals at the Canadian championships. He was with the All-O-Matics when they toured Japan in 1981 and New Zealand in 1983.
Bob became co-coach of the Canadian National team and they competed in the 1983 Pan-American Games at Caracas, Venezuela. The Canadians took the gold medal, surviving a scare against The Bahamas in the semifinal but then they beat United States soundly in the final. The Canadians repeated as Pan-American Games champions in 1987 when the tournament was held at Indianapolis.
The world championships came to Saskatoon in 1988, and the Canadian team finished with bronze medals in their home stand. Bob's final fling on the international scene was at a Pan-American qualifying tournament in Buenos Aires in 1990 and again there was success as the Canadian team took the gold medal.