Robert Dobek was a standout hockey player since childhood. As a Taylor resident in the 1970s, Dobek was one of the best hockey players in the nation.
He helped his Junior B hockey team sponsored by the Detroit Red Wings earn the national championship in 1970, won the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League scoring championship in 1971 and finished second in 1972, when he was most valuable player in the league.
After earning a full scholarship to Bowling Green State University, he led his college team in scoring all three years he played - and remains the all-time leading scorer in points per game (an impressive 2.11). Dobek also led the nation in goals in 1974, with 44, and was voted to the All-Conference First Team in 1974 and 1975. He also earned a degree in business.
Dobek was selected to the U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1975-76 and led the team in scoring in international play heading into the Olympic Games with 63 assists and 110 points. The 6-foot, 185-pound center then led his country’s team in scoring during the games themselves. As the U.S. team placed fifth that year, Dobek finished tied for seventh among players from all nations.
Dobek signed with the San Diego Mariners, a team in the professional World Hockey Association. In two seasons, he scored 10 goals and 18 assists.
Years later, the hockey trade newspaper Michigan Hockey recognized Dobek as one of the top 10 Michigan-born hockey players of all-time to play college hockey. He also was named to the 1970s All-Decade Team from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
Dobek, whose parents and brothers continue to reside in Taylor, retired from hockey to pursue a career in his other love, golf, in California. He was director of golf operations for several West Coast golf courses before becoming president of his own firm, Capital golf Group.
As of his induction date, Dobek, now 50, and his wife, Ali, are raising two sons in suburban San Diego. He has coached his sons’ hockey teams to many championships. His older son, Zach, is a senior catcher on the University of San Diego baseball team. Younger son, Bryan, is a freshman center on the Bowling Green hockey team, following in his father’s footsteps.
Dobek’s brother, Jeff, was inducted into the Taylor Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, making them the only brother combination in the hall.