In Memoriam – Robert Stiles

Robert StilesRobert (Bob) Vernon Stiles, a former Menlo College professor and soccer coach, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, August 20, 2009, of a bilateral pulmonary embolism. Bob was born November 11, 1948, to Merton T. Stiles, Jr., and Ferne Sturges Stiles in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He relocated to California in 1956. Bob graduated from Stanford University with an MA in 1974. He taught at Menlo College in Menlo Park, California, and then left teaching to pursue a career in sports management.


Menlo College alumnus Jeff “Red” Berry remembered Bob's influence on his life, “Soccer coach, mentor, and editor were a few of the printable things I called Bob in addition to friend. Bob opened my eyes to the power of the written word, and of the press, allowing me to write for the Menlo newspaper, lessons I will never forget.”


Stiles' international sports management career began with the 1984 Olympic Games, where he was Assistant Competition Manager for soccer. He joined several other managers from the 1984 Games to form International Event Management in 1988. Later, Stiles served as the General Manager for the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks professional soccer team, where he organized more than 30 international soccer matches before joining the 1994 World Cup organizing committee as Director of Operations at the Stanford Venue. Stiles continued as the Senior Venue Manager for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, managing the Olympic Stadium and serving on the Games Operations Committee for integrated planning of all operations.


After consulting for two years to the Olympic Co-ordination Authority for the 2000 Sydney Games and working on the Austrian bid for the 2006 Winter Olympics, Stiles assumed the Vice President of Operations role for the 1999 Women's World Cup, where he organized the operations at all eight stadiums and for the overall tournament. Stiles would go on to launch the Event division for internationally renowned HOK Sport+Venue+Event and then to consult to FIFA as a Security Officer for the 2002 World Cup in Japan, the Morocco 2010 World Cup bid, the Leipzig 2012 Olympic Bid, and the Moscow 2012 Olympic Bid.


He worked for three years with the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and managed the Venue Readiness Team prior to and during the Games. He served as the primary consultant to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Bid and the Doha 2016 Olympic Bid before joining Sochi 2014 full time this year. Bob was currently serving as Vice President of Games Services and Management for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee where he oversaw venue and village management, press operations, and several operations functions.


Bob had extensive experience in planning, implementing, managing and consulting to major world-class sports events, including six Olympic Games, three FIFA World Cups and numerous other international competitions. He has also worked on bids for both Olympic Summer and Winter Games and the FIFA World Cup, as well as bids for other major sports events.


Bob is survived by his wife Olga Stiles, son Nicklas Stiles and his fianc�e, Erica Parker, his two step-daughters, Julia and Zhenya of Moscow, Russia, and two sisters, JoAnne (Tuey) Keller of Santa Ynez, California and Judith Patterson Meurer of Deerfield, Illinois, a nephew, Mark Keller, and four nieces, Lindsay Keller, DeAnne Mariner, Carlyn Biser, and Laura McDermott.


Memorial services will be conducted at 11:00am, Wednesday, August 26, 2009, at Sandy Springs Chapel Funeral Directors, 136 Mt. Vernon Hwy NE, Sandy Springs, GA, 30328, followed by a reception at a location TBD. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that a donation be made to the Right to Play foundation. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Taken from the online obituary at