Gateway Class of 2010
As the youngest of five in a sport loving family, Rob grew up cheering on his siblings from the sidelines at their many practices and games. As a young kid, he dreamed one day of playing football for Gateway on Friday nights – a long-standing family tradition. His grandfather played on Gateway’s first team, his dad and several uncles played for the Gators, and his brother was a four-year starting QB. Rob’s football career and love for the game began in the Gateway Midget Program as soon as his parents could sign him up. Over a four-year stretch, the teams Rob played on went 43-1 and won four straight midget championships.
As an eighth grader, Rob was selected to play up on the ninth-grade team – a big step up from midgets and a great learning experience to get him ready for varsity. He won the varsity QB job the summer going into his freshman season at the Youngstown State 7on7 passing camp and would go on to start all four years. When reflecting on his time at Gateway, the first thing that comes to mind are his teammates. Rob will be the first one to talk about the great players he had the privilege to play with. In his freshman & sophomore years, players like Jon Ditto, Cam Saddler, Jon Pryor, Rob Wratcher, John Doyle, Eric Warning, and Shayne Hale were all great leaders and made Rob fit right in as a 14-year-old. As the years went on, Rob built great comradery with lifetime football teammates Corey Brown, Steve Vranka, Brian Williams, Delbert Tyler, Chris Lammie, Dayonne Nunley, Dorian Bell, Tyler Coles, Josh Vermeulan, Orne Bey, Brockton Moorhead, Nick Rosky and many more. One of his proudest moments at Gateway was being named a team captain in both his junior and senior seasons.
Looking back there were so many incredible moments and games over Rob’s four years. Some of the ones that stand out include rushing the field after beating North Allegheny at the Wolvarena, Gateway’s hook and ladder against Central Catholic (voted ESPN’s Play of the Month), the team’s trip to Oregon for Nike’s 7on7 national passing camp, playing Cardinal Mooney at Hall of Fame stadium in Canton, the team’s appearance on ESPN’s Mike and Mike morning show, the comedy skits players would put on during camp, and all the pep rallies and school spirit before big games.
Kalkstein finished high school with an overall record of 41-9 as a starter and ranked #3 all-time in WPIAL passing yards (6,501 yards and 71 TDs) at the time of graduation. Gateway made trips to Heinz Field during his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons and was ranked #3 nationally by USA Today in 2008. His record as a starter those three seasons was 35-4. After his senior season, he was named to Post Gazette’s Fab 22 and Trib’s Terrific 25. Rob was also a four-year lettermen shortstop for the Gateway baseball team.
After graduating from Gateway, Rob stayed close to home attending Carnegie Mellon University to continue his football career. He would start all four years and was voted team captain as a senior. Rob broke multiple school passing records and graduated as the all-time leading passer in CMU history. He majored in Finance at the Tepper School of Business, started his professional career at Deloitte Consulting and currently works for PNC Bank. Rob, his wife, Jordan, and their two children, Kennedy and Cole, currently live in Murrysville.
Rob would like to thank the Gateway Hall of Fame committee for this honor. He credits this achievement to all his teammates and coaches, including Head Coach Terry Smith, Dave Ruby, Tony Zimmerman, Dom Pugliano, Mike Booth, Russ Gratton, Don Smith, and Cliff Thompson. A special thank you to his OC/QB Coach John Ruane for his mentorship on and off the field. John coached Rob in baseball and football starting when he was eight years old and was pivotal to his success.
Last and most importantly, Rob would like to thank his family for their support and encouragement. He always had a cheering section to look up to at every game. He’d like to especially thank his grandparents, Randy, June, Kal, and Edna Mae, and siblings, Rebecca, Randy, Carly, and Jillian, for always believing in him. He owes everything to his parents, Bob and Debbie, who instilled in him hard work ethic, toughness, and a team-first mentality.
Robby, you are arguably the best QB in school history. As a 4-year varsity starter and captain for your junior and senior years you displayed tremendous leadership and QB play. Under your guidance, the Gators had tremendous success. Congratulations on your induction!
– Former Head Coach Terry Smith