Robert Whaples was a member of the University of Maryland College Bowl team from 1979-83 and the University of Pennsylvania team from 1983-85. He was a member of the team that won the College Bowl National Championship on March 23, 1981. Other members of the team were Brick Barrientos (captain), Townsend Reese, and Robert Saltzberg.
He was captain of the College Bowl All-American Team in 1982.
Since 1991 he has been coach of the Wake Forest University Quiz Bowl club. He is a professor in the Department of Economics at WFU and former department chair.