Robert “Tug” Wilga is considered by many to be the best football lineman in Bartlett High School history.
Tug played tackle for the Indians for all four years of his high school career, serving as team captain in his senior year.
While he was a stalwart on local high school gridirons, Tug achieved most of his game playing Division I college football.
After graduating with the Bartlett High Class of 1950, Tug entered the University of Alabama on a football scholarship, where he majored in physical education.
A tackle while at BHS, Tug played that position for the ‘Bama freshmen. In his sophomore year he switched to defensive guard where he stood out in game after game. It has been noted that he was particularly effective on Crimson Tide goal line stands and was a leading tackler for Alabama during his career. Tug was in the starting defensive lineup when Alabama played in the January 1, 1953 Orange Bowl in Miami and the January 1, 1954 Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
The ROTC student entered the U.S. Army in 1954. He was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia, with the 15th Infantry Regiment football team. He played tackle for the Bearcats, and was also a co-captain and line coach. In 1954 he made the Army All-Conference Team and All-Post team.
This Bartlett football star leaves his wife, Beatrice; a son, Robert Wilga, Jr., 35; and a daughter Robin Wilga, 30.