Lanphier basketball coach Arlyn Lober remembered as kind, innovative

Arlyn Lober, who survived the Second World War’s Battle of the Bulge and went on to become a teacher and Springfield’s all-time winningest boys basketball coach, died Thursday.

Lober had turned 98 years old on May 8 – 77 years after he celebrated his 21st birthday on VE Day, the day in 1945 when Germany’s surrender was announced to officially end the European phase of World War II. There, Lober was part of the US Army’s 11th Armored Division attached to Gen. George Patton’s Third Army.

The best thing I can say about Arlyn, is if I didn’t have my father for a father, Arlyn would be the man I’d pick to be my father, “said an emotional Bob Nika, the athletic figure who perhaps is most closely tied to Lober. Nika played for and coached with Lober before he succeeded Lober as the Lanphier boys basketball coach in 1974.

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