Who's Who of Top Executives

Zafer Roback

Zafer Roback

Title: Realtor
Company: The Real Estate Office
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Zafer Roback, a realtor at The Real Estate Office, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in real estate and martial arts.

Celebrating a newfound passion for real estate, Mr. Roback is referred to as the “Motel Man” for his dedication to listing and selling motels. In addition to establishing himself with The Real Estate Office in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1982, he found success as a realtor with Century 21 and Heath Shuler Realty in 1992. He is grateful to work in real estate, particularly dealing with motels, as it has allowed him to help people find jobs.

In addition to his career in real estate, Mr. Roback has carried a passion for martial arts throughout his life. Upon graduating from East High School in 1959, he entered the Golden Gloves competition in Knoxville to train with boxing promoter Ace Miller. With newfound experience in physical combat, he thereafter enlisted in the U.S. Army. After completing his training at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, he was assigned to duty in Incheon, South Korea, where he was trained in karate, judo, aikido, and jujutsu. Earning black belts in both judo and karate, he is proud to have placed third out of nearly 300 participants at the Korean New Year Judo Competition.

Upon the completion of his service in the U.S. Army in 1962, Mr. Roback enrolled at the University of the Cumberlands, formerly known as Cumberland College, where he went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences in 1965. In order to sustain Judo and karate, Mr. Roback was given a full scholarship to teach self-defense, judo, and karate classes three days a week and judo men’s team classes two hours a day. He is proud to have coached the team as they competed all over the world and won over 15 Midwest collegiate judo championships and three national championships. For his achievements, he is honored to be renowned as “The Father of Judo at Cumberland College.” He was inducted into the University of the Cumberlands Hall of Fame in 2004. Mr. Roback’s sponsor and assistant coach was Dr. O.J. Helvey at Cumberland College.

Currently, Mr. Roback looks forward to competing in 20 unique events in the 2021 Senior Olympics. As an eight-time participant, he has accumulated over 50 medals throughout his career. Moreover, he has earned distinction as an instructor and coach of judo and karate at the University of Tennessee for over a decade. Coach Johnny Majors was Mr. Roback’s coach for 11 years. In addition, he credits his success to his unwavering attitude, perseverance, and ‘never give up’ attitude.

For more information, please visit:

Knoxville East High School Alumni Association 2019 Hall of Fame


The Motel Man

Press Release

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