Hiram College
Coach Hollinger

Memorial Services for Bill Hollinger, longtime Athletic Director, coach, teacher and administrator, who died April 9, will be held at 3 p.m. May 1 in the Price Gymnasium on Hiram’s campus.

The  memorial service will feature remembrances of many of Hollinger’s friends and family and be followed by a reception. If you have memories of “Coach” Hollinger, please post them in the comments section below.

Below is the note to campus written by Hiram College President Thomas V. Chema:

I am saddened to share with you the news that our dear friend and colleague Bill Hollinger passed away today, April 9, 2011. He was 89 years old.

Coach, as Bill was affectionately known, is a Hiram legend having touched the lives of hundreds of Hiram students as a coach, teacher, and administrator. Bill was a gentle, unassuming man who represented all that was good about intercollegiate athletics and the best of Hiram College. Coach was truly one of the most beloved members of our community. His mark on the Department of Athletics at Hiram can still be felt due to his dedicated service and the impact he had on the lives of all those who were blessed to know him. He was a true scholar who was known nationally for his expertise in the fields of physical education, health, and recreation.

A 1943 graduate of Hiram College, Bill earned his master’s degree from Stanford University. After seven years of teaching and coaching at Ripon College in Wisconsin, he returned to his alma mater as Director of Athletics and head of the department of physical education. For 33 years, Bill coached football, men’s basketball, track & field, and baseball. He was Hiram’s head basketball coach and won more than 300 games during his career.

Throughout his career, Coach Hollinger brought wonderful visibility to Hiram College as one of the most respected athletic administrators in all of the NCAA. Bill was a four-time member of the NCAA Div. III selection committee and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio House of Representatives.  Along the way he was inducted into the Portage County Hall of Fame, the Hiram College Hall of Fame, and the Garfield Society.

Coach formally retired from his position here at Hiram in 1989, but remained close to the institution and was an integral part of the athletic department as an ambassador, mentor, and advisor to the coaches and staff who have followed in his footsteps. Our Athletic Hall of Fame is named in honor of him and seeks to recognize the profound impact Bill had on Hiram College.

Bill’s wife, Esther, who passed away in 1993, was a 1942 graduate of Hiram. Daughters Susan ’83 and Jeanne ’75 graduated from Hiram while daughters, Jan and Judy, earned their degrees from the College of Wooster.

Coach was a great man who made the lives of many people better with his hard work and generosity of spirit. I join you in mourning his loss.

Tom Chema