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Prof Kotie Grove, an instrumental part of former UPE and NMMU (now Nelson Mandela University) has left a legacy within the university, Madibaz cricket club and South African cricket when he lost his battle to cancer recently.

Grove who served the university for 44 years in various capacities as Professor in classical studies, Dean of Students, cricket player, administrator and fundraiser at the Nelson Mandela University [formerly the University of Port Elizabeth] before his retirement in 2014. During this period he was also part of the former NMMU Trust, securing external funding for the university.


At the time of his death at the age of 71, Grove became an institution in Afrikaans commentary circles when he joined SuperSport in 1994 with his first foray into cricket commentary in 1976 when joining SABC as a scorer and just celebrated 40 years in broadcasting last year.


Riaan Osman, former University Cricket Manager and current Nelson Mandela University Deputy Director: Marketing and Academic Support paid tribute to Prof Kotie Grove for the instrumental role he played in building the cricket club into one of the most revered clubs in the country.


“Kotie began playing at UPE in 1971 and became the club chairperson in 1976 where he served in the position for more than 15 years and also served as the South African Universities (SAU) President for 13 years,” he said.


During Grove’s golden era the former UPE won numerous SAU and/or club champs titles and finished runner up 4 times. His passion for the cricket club was endless and he continued playing a role whenever he was called upon.


“Kotie proudly recalled whenever he had the opportunity to do so that 9 of the 12 players that won the Currie Cup for EP for the first time in the mid 80’s were either UPE players or alumni of the University at the time,” Osman said.


During 2006 Grove managed to secure funding to appoint for a full time cricket coach for the first time. Through his efforts with arranging the University cricket reunion, the club was able to recruit top players to the Institution with bursary funding made available from funding sponsored by alumni donors.


“As a leading Afrikaans commentator for SuperSport, he always took the opportunity to boast about the performances of the cricket club during live broadcasts and during this period, the University cricket club continued their sterling performances winning several National University and National Club champs titles cementing their reputation as one of the strongest University clubs in the country,” Osman said.


Prof Kotie Grove and Prof Flip Potgieter was awarded the Honorary Life President Award for their contribution to the University club at their annual prize-giving in 2013.


The Nelson Mandela University Alumni Association wished to convey its condolences to the Grove family on the passing of Prof Kotie Grove. Prof Grove had a long relationship with the University and also served on the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association for several years.