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BHS grid coach Bill Wilson dies after suffering heart attack

Bill Wilson, Bearden High School varsity football head coach, died early last week after suffering a heart attack at home Sunday, April 15.

A football coach for more than 30 years — and highly revered at West High School, where the field is named in his honor after coaching the Rebels for 28 years — Wilson came out of retirement last spring to pilot a struggling BHS program.

The result was a 7-4 record and Division I-5A playoff appearance last fall.

Bill Young, long-time Bearden varsity football head coach (1977-80, 1988-2001) coached alongside Bill Wilson at West in 1976 before squaring off in the Rebels-Bulldogs annual rivalry.

“I got to know him really well there, just to see what an intense competitor he was and how much he loved the game of football,” said Young, who retired last fall after five years as CAK head coach. “I knew when we competed against Billy we had to be at our best because he was going to have his kids motivated.

“I think he probably did as much with his talent as anybody I’ve ever been around because of his motivational skills and his hard work,” Young added. “It was a pleasure to know him as a friend, and be able to compete against him and also be able to work with him.”

While emphasizing the program was “definitely going in the right direction,” Lynn Hill, BHS athletic director and assistant principal, said Wilson was “a very likeable person, everyone seemed to enjoy being around him.”

Coach Wilson was preparing the Bulldogs for spring practice, which begins May 7. No acting head coach had been named as of press deadline Tuesday, April 17.


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