JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State University family mourns the loss of one of their all-time greats with the passing Saturday, Sept. 26, of Bill Keedy, a treasured alumnus and member of the Red Wolves’ football broadcast team since 2000.
Affectionately known to many simply as “Coach,” Keedy was a resident of Newport, Ark. Information regarding a visitation period and service will be available at a later time, but his family has asked that donations be sent to the Red Wolves Foundation, Newport Athletic Booster Club or Jackson County Humane Society in lieu of flowers.
“This is an emotional day to hear the news of Coach Keedy’s passing,” said A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. “My deepest sympathies go out to his family. Coach meant so much to so many, and he had a positive affect on all those he came in contact with. He was not only an integral part of our athletics department, but also made a big difference in the world we live in today with the players he coached and influenced. His impact will be felt for many years to come.”
Keedy, who earned his degree from Arkansas State in 1969 and was honored as a Distinguished Alumni recipient in 2007, began working for the EAB Red Wolves Sports Network in 2000 as the color analyst for the A-State football radio broadcasts. He spent 15 years in the booth for many of A-State’s biggest games, including the 2005 New Orleans Bowl, the past four GoDaddy Bowl games and A-State’s victory over Texas A&M in 2008 – it’s first ever game as the Red Wolves.
A featured guest and speaker at various functions held by the A-State Athletics Department, Keedy served multiple terms as a Red Wolves Foundation board member.
“Coach Keedy was a great ambassador for Arkansas State University and the sport of football,” said A-State head football coach Blake Anderson. “He was a joy to be around, made the people who surrounded him better, and he will be deeply missed.”
A former Newport High School head football coach, Keedy was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association (AHSCA) Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
In the early 1970’s, Keedy coached at Paragould High School before moving to Sylvan Hills High School in 1976. He then moved to his hometown of Newport at the start of the 1977 season. During his tenure as coach of the Greyhounds, Keedy reached the playoffs 19 times, was named district coach of the year 17 times and finished with a record of 175-48-3. He led Newport to state championships in 1981 and 1991 and finished with an overall coaching record of 199-55-4.
In all, Keedy led Newport to four state championship games and reached the semifinals eight times. He was selected as a member of the high school all-star coaching staff 10 times and was an AHSCA Lowell Manning Award recipient for Outstanding Coach of the Year.
Keedy was the Newport Daily Independent’s Man of the Year twice, the recipient of the Newport Kiwanis Club’s Distinguished Service Award and the first recipient of the Jonesboro Sun’s ‘Best Under the Sun’ Coach of the Year. As a lasting tribute, the Newport High School athletic facility was named the Bill Keedy Athletic Training Facility.