Bob Kap Collection

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About the Collection

Bob Kap was born in Yugoslavia where he grew up playing soccer. During the German invasion of Yugoslavia in the early 1940s, Kap joined the Partisan army and worked for the Department for Agitation and Propaganda under the Communist regime. In 1945, Kap returned to the world of soccer as a coach and manager for several teams in Bulgaria, while also writing about the sport for various publications.

In 1956, with the start of the Hungarian Revolution, Kap moved his family to Canada where he continued his writing and coaching career until he was recruited to be coach for the Dallas Tornado Soccer Club, in 1967. After his time with the Dallas Tornado, Kap utilized his knowledge of soccer and his sports contacts to begin a career recruiting European soccer players to kick for the NFL. Throughout his life Kap was an avid inventor, promoter, and advocate for using sports to connect people. Kap lived out his final years in Canada, where he died in 2010.

The Bob Kap Collection consists of all variety of newspaper clippings, photographs, pennants, correspondence, posters, and ephemera, which Kap collected from around the world. These materials tell an amazing life story and offer a significant resource for the study of Sports History, Sports Management, and International Relations.

A major aspect of Kap’s career was his time spent as the coach of the Dallas Tornado Soccer Club. During its inaugural season 1967-1968, the team went on a whirlwind tour playing 45 games in 26 countries spanning 5 continents in just 7 months. The Tour of a Lifetime exhibit, tells the story of this amazing expedition through Kap’s collection.

After Kap’s time with the Dallas Tornado, he went on to establish soccer style kicking in the NFL, by recruiting professional European soccer players, patenting kicking cleats with laces on the side, and promoting the European style of kicking. His first recruit to the NFL was Austrian Toni Fritsch, who played for the Dallas Cowboys for 5 years, and continued in the NFL for an additional 7 years.

Selected materials from the Bob Kap Collection are digitized and available on The Portal to Texas History. The full contents of the Collection can be searched on the Bob Kap Collection finding aid.