Bob Shamrock- Transforming Troubled Men Into Champions

Sam NassarCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2010

It is a truly a genuine thing to be a generous and giving person for your entire life.  To be selfless in times that most would be selfish and to truly give someone a new goal and a new outlook on life.  Bob Shamrock was one such person who gave of himself with no thought of how to gain for himself he just truly was offering himself to others to elevate their situation.

    Bob Shamrock started his generous  ways by learning from his father who had a mission on skid row.  Bob would often be given soup to dish out to homeless patrons who were also entertained by Bob who would play the piano for them.  Bob later enrolled in UCLA's pre-med program but had to drop out when his father needed help with his business.  After Bob sold the business, he and his wife bought the 6,400-square-foot ranch in Susanville California.  Building on his previous ideals Bob made this ranch a group care home in honor of his work with his father Bob wanted to carry on that legacy.

Sadly Bob and his wife Dee Dee were unable to have children after trying numerous times.  Bob had a unique approach to his group care philosophy which consisted of creating respect while keeping the boys tired.  Jobs expected of boys at the Shamrock home consisted of cleaning movie theaters, chopping wood for the fireplace, and other jobs that served the local community while teaching the boys about hard work and respectful habits. 

This was not your average home which was short on love and tough on punishment, Bob created a family atmosphere by giving the boys red jackets with a Shamrock family crest on it to show pride in where they came from and who they were working for.  (You saw the red being sported by Ken in the WWE and in several MMA bouts as well as a silent tribute to Bob. 

The Shamrock crest is also a part of Ken's clothing design for many of his t-shirts.)  The boys were taught to walk the line and were rewarded with movie tickets, treats and even time with Bob's classic cars if they behaved.  If the work from the day still left the boys aggressive Bob would let the boys put on the boxing gloves in the backyard and go at it while Bob served refreshments.  Bob showed interest in each boys unique problems while trying to help them and mold them into an upstanding citizen.

Ken Wayne Kilpatrick was 15 when he showed up on the doorstep of Bob Shamrock.  Ken had been in and out of the correctional system, he has admitted to sleeping in cars and on the street for much of his youth and learning to fight to protect himself at a young age.  Bob realized quickly that Ken had a temper and he had been in several homes before that were not able to help him. 

Since much of Bob's philosophy was to find something the boys excelled at which was usually a sport or some type of creative outlet to focus their energy such as art, writing, music.  Ken showed his skill in athletics and Bob encouraged this by convincing Ken to go out for the wrestling team as well as football in high school.  Bob made sure that Ken understood he had to maintain at least a C average to participate in sports.  Ken also was the unofficial champion of the backyard boxing and wrestling matches which had Bob very interested in the young man.  Bob was drawn to Ken's outlook on things which was usually very cut and dry and to the point which we still see today.

     Frank Juarez was in and out of group homes, crisis centers and foster homes from the age of 12.  Frank was an aggressive kid who felt lost until arriving at the Shamrock home.  Frank gravitated to Ken who in many ways was the big man in the house excelling at wrestling and boxing.  Frank sought out to learn from Ken and was also molded by Bob who was instrumental in helping to control Frank's anger and focus it in the right direction.

Out of respect both Ken and Frank would legally change their last name to Shamrock as a sign of respect for the man who helped them out of their difficult past and family lives before becoming a member of Bob's family as young men.  

     Bob always expressed how proud he was of both boys and supported all of their endeavors such as Ken opening the Lion's Den gym which was truly the first camp that we saw in MMA.  Bob grew close to many Lion's Den fighters such as Guy Mezger, Pete Williams, Jerry Bohlander, and Roy Nelson.  Bob always said that he was so proud of what his sons achieved in their lives but he he was most impressed by the face that so many of the boys that spent time at the ranch grew into fine upstanding citizens with good families.

 Bob Shamrock left a legacy behind when he passed away from complications due to diabetes he left a legacy of hard work, fairness, understanding, and family.  Bob touched more than 600 lives and molded 2 special champions who have been instrumental in the sport of MMA.  We mourn the loss of such a selfless and genuine man and hope that others strive for such a life changing goal to influence and shape our youth.