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Retired ISU Softball Coach, Educator Bill Kennedy Dies

Bill Kennedy holding softball
Bill Kennedy coached ISU softball pitchers for 24 seasons.

Bill Kennedy, a retired Illinois State University softball coach and longtime educator, has died, according to the university's athletic department. Kennedy served as ISU's pitching coach for 24 years starting in the 1980s. He mentored four All-American pitchers. He was also part of the coaching staff which won the Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year in 2006.

Kennedy also taught for many years. He served as principal at Heyworth grade school and junior high.

ISU head softball coach Melinda Fischer said Kennedy “touched the lives of so many” and said his impact goes beyond softball.

“He had a way with words that could reach all skill levels and a sense of humor that was unique to him,” Fischer said. “He instilled confidence in those around him and was a firm believer that leadership 'starts in the circle.' His dedication to Illinois State and the softball program will be forever remembered."

Kennedy, an ISU alum, was a softball pitcher himself in his youth. He pitched in the Silver Leaf 4-H league for decades. He led the Bloomington Hearts to their first national tournament.

In his retirement, Kennedy was a regular at Redbird sporting events.

Kennedy was 79.

The family plans a private graveside service at Funks Grove Cemetery. The family will hold a celebration of life for Kennedy on May 30 at Crestwicke Country Club in Bloomington.

Carmody Flynn Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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