Bruce W. Rollins '71
Bruce W. Rollins '71-is mainly known for his swimming accomplishments, but this Hall of Fame honoree truly devoted himself to the betterment of Grinnell athletics. A four-sport letterwinner, Rollins played two years of football and baseball, a year of soccer and swam for three seasons. Nicknamed J. Rollie, he was a two-year starter on the football team at both tight end and defensive end. He also handled punting duties. Ironically, J. Rollie capped his career during his junior season when he helped the team to a 5-4 record, which was the only winning season at Grinnell in the '70s and '80s. One of the Pioneer victories came because Rollins rallied the defense to a tremendous late-game stand against Lawrence. With just a few minutes remaining in the contest and the Pioneers leading 19-17, the Vikings intercepted a pass inside Grinnell's 20-yard line. J. Rollie made four straight tackles, moving the Vikings back 30 yards and out of field goal range to preserve the win and earn all-conference laurels. While Rollins earned four individual and on relay All-America citations in swimming, he counts winning the team title at the 1970 Midwest Conference championships as his top accomplishment. It gave Grinnell Hall of Fame Coach Ray Obermiller his first league crown. In that meet J. Rollie won the 50 and 100 freestyle in school-record times of 22.2 and 48.5. He also swam on the first-place 400 free relay unit, clocked at 3:26.1. Bruce, who received an M.B.A. from the University of Iowa, is a manager for Procter and Gamble in Houston. He remains active with youth athletic programs and works with the Texas Special Olympics.