Robert "Bob" Backus serves his 26th year with SUNY Delhi Athletics for the 2018-19 season and 13th as Director of Athletics. Backus previously coached the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs from 1993 to 2008, where his squads won 15 NJCAA National Championships. He was promoted to Director of Athletics during the summer of 2008, returning to the post he once previously held from 1995 to 1997.
The SUNY Delhi Broncos Athletic Department sponsors 19 intercollegiate programs, all of which are affiliated with NCAA Division III. The Broncos are currently members of the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA), North Atlantic Confernce (NAC) and Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) across all their program offerings.
Under Backus' guidance as Director of Athletics, the Broncos have won eight national championships, including the school's first national title outside of cross country and track and field when the men's golf team won the 2017 USCAA Championship. His time has seen SUNY Delhi earn national championship appearances in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis and track and field.
Backus successfully oversaw SUNY Delhi’s transition from the NJCAA to four-year athletics, and the Broncos’ current transition to NCAA Division III. SUNY Delhi was approved NCAA provisional membership for 2018-19, with full-time membership anticipated as early as 2021-22.
SUNY Delhi transitioned to four-year athletics beginning with the 2015-16 season. Backus prepared for the move by establishing partnerships between the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for the athletic programs. He helped put the Broncos and their standout facilities on the four-year map by serving as hosts for USCAA national championships and invitationals in swimming and diving and track and field.
He currently serves on the USCAA Board of Directors and was the President of the Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (NIAC). Backus was recognized as the Garth Pleasant Honorary USCAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2016 and the NJCAA Region III Athletic Director of the Year in 2013.
Backus earned his Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Eastern Kentucky University in 1991 after receiving his Bachelor's in Liberal Arts from nearby Oneonta State in 1987. He also attended Mohawk Valley Community College before transferring to Oneonta State, competing in cross country for four years between both institutions.