Robert Terrell began coaching when his son Marty started playing baseball in 1978 and never looked back.
Terrell, who goes by “Bob,” was honored May 23 by the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors with the Hall of Fame Lifetime Volunteer award for 40 years of volunteer service to youth sports.
A Bellwood native and a graduate of Thomas Dale High School, the 78-year-old Terrell worked for the Virginia Department of Transportation for 40 years, eventually becoming a planning engineer.
He and his wife Anne have two children, Marty and Tracy.
Terrell’s years of volunteering began with the Hening Athletics Association, where he coached baseball and then basketball.
“I was gung-ho,” he said. “The association needed an athletic director, a job no one really wanted to do.” He stepped forward and volunteered there for 30 years before retiring.
He became a commissioner with the Chesterfield Baseball Club stallion division (13- and 14-year-olds) in 1985 and with the Chesterfield Basketball League about five years ago.
He was appointed to the Chesterfield Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission when it was formed in 1993. After htting the 25-year mark, Terrell said he is the commission’s longest serving commissioner.
“Mr. Volunteer” also helps make deliveries for Meals on Wheels twice a month.
He joked that his wife has supported him through his many years of volunteering to get him out of the house.
“I’d much rather be doing this stuff than watching TV,” he said. “I’ve worked with some mighty nice kids and adults.”
Marty Terrell said he is proud of his father for his dedication and long-term service. “He’s been a huge blessing to the community,” said Marty, a youth pastor at Crosslink Community Church in Harrisonburg. “He’s had a passion for sports and loves encouraging other people.”
“It’s been really cool to see how much he’s kept up with that over the years,” Marty said, noting that his dad would recruit kids to play sports and give them rides to and from practice and games.
Terrell cited a couple of county basketball championships won by teams that he coached in the 1990s as highlights of his time as a volunteer.
“It’s hard to get volunteers,” he said.