Born May 22, 1936, he is one of two contributors in this year’s hall of fame class.
A 1954 graduate of Salem High School, he was one of the Quakers’ most noted students and athletes, giving true meaning to the term student-athlete as he earned 11 letters during his scholastic years.
He earned three varsity letters in football and three more in track and field, earned two reserve letters in basketball under legendary SHS hoops coach John Cabas, also being honored with three letters as a member of the school band.
In football, he started every game at running back from his sophomore through senior seasons under head grid coach Ben Barrett until an injury in the third game of his senior year forced the state of Ohio’s leading rusher just two games into the campaign to the sideline.
He recovered in time to return to the field for his final two games, however, one of which was against the East Liverpool Potters and famed NCAA head football coach, Lou Holtz.
With tongue in cheek, Holtz likes to recall how this year’s inductee scored the Potters’ only points that game when he was tackled in the endzone for a safety, going on to elaborate that Bob Sebo, in fact, also added a touchdown to seal the win for the Quakers.
Despite battling injuries and an extremely difficult schedule that ’53 campaign, he still rushed for 420 yards and added 194 yards receiving for 614 all-purpose yards, all coming in just 14 quarters of action or barely three and a half games played.
On the cinders he was a consistent winner for three years in the 100 and 220-yard dashes, as well as the 180-yard low hurdles.
During his senior season he won the Columbiana County “Most Valuable Player” trophy by placing first in the 100-yard dash, second in the 180-yard low hurdles, third in the 220-yard dash and fourth in the discus, an event in which he only learned to compete just 24 hours prior to the meet.
His personal best in the 100-yard dash was 10.1 seconds, which today converts to 11.045 seconds in the 100 meter dash.
Upon graduation he attended Bowling Green State University where he was recruited by former Leetonia and East Liverpool head coach, Bob Gibson.
The strain on his leg, however, was too much to handle so he gravitated to the school’s ROTC program and went on to participate in a variety of instrumental ensembles and bands.
He graduated from BGSU in 1958 with his BS in BA degree and in 2013, the school bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate in Business Administration.
Named to his alma mater’s Board of Trustees in 2002 by former Gov. Bob Taft, he served on both its investment and finance committees during his tenure. In 2019, was also honored as a BGSU Distinguished Alumni.
He has donated to the school every year since his graduation and included among his many gifts is the $4.4 million Sebo Athletic Center, a scholarship program for the Sebo Jazz Study Scholarship as well as yearly sponsorship of the Bowling Green Entrepreneurial Center.
He served his country and was on active duty with the U.S. Army from 1958-60 and after his duty was fulfilled, worked in several capacities with the Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors Corporation (1960-74).
In 1974 he started his own payroll service company in Cleveland, a franchise of Paychex but in 1979, consolidated a grouping of individual Paychex companies to form a national, privately-held company.
In December 1994, he retired as Senior Vice-President of Paychex and in October 2006, retired as a member of the Paychex Board of Directors.
His contributions to athletics in the Mahoning Valley and throughout the country remain a true testament to his belief in helping others achieve their goals in both life and on the field of play.
He has passionately given of his time, wisdom and contributions to high school and college programs, and individuals who have chosen to make coaching their life’s work.
His unselfish attitude was instilled in him by his parents, his father serving as SHS Booster Club president when former Iowa State and Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce was a young, up and coming scholastic head coach. It was his father who helped Bruce navigate the obstacles of his new surroundings while ensuring his coaching success in the Mahoning Valley.
Following in his father’s footsteps, this year’s contribution to sports honoree has assisted and been instrumental in the success enjoyed by former Bowling Green State head grid coaches Urban Meyer, Dave Clawson, Dino Babers and Scott Loeffler, also lending a helping hand to current Iowa State head coach and former Mount Union graduate, Matt Campbell, when he aspired to become a graduate assistant on the Falcons’ staff.
Current YSU head football coach, Doug Phillips, is also a part of the Sebo coaching tree while countless other coaches call him a confidant and friend.
His professional awards include his receiving the Kappa Sigma Fraternity ‘Elmer Brown Wall of Fame,’ Salvation Army’s ‘The Spirit of Service to Others Award,’ GMAC Champion of Life Award, Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellowship ‘Distinguished Alumni Award,’ Lou Holtz-Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame, BGSU Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame and Salem High School Hall of Fame, among many others.
He sponsors the Quad County Coaches Association Football Clinic and Penn-Ohio All-Star game each year and is a member of the Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic Hall of Fame.
He has assisted multiple area highs schools with their weight room and equipment upgrades, helped provide banquets and award ceremonies for student-athletes while his generosity inspired the Salem Board of Education to name its football stadium and track and field facility, ‘Sebo Stadium’ in his honor in 2019.
He shows no sign of slowing down – he will turn 87 just 15 days after his induction – and continues to donate and organize events that raise much needed dollars for BGSU, YSU and Ashland University, also serving as a driving force for the Men’s Rally in the Valley by securing speakers, advertising the event and allocating funds.
Along with his wife, Linda, the Sebo family includes daughters Julie (Schmelzle) and Christine (Parisi), step-daughter Courtney (Hill) and step-son Parker Hydrick. They reside in Salem.