JONESBORO, Ark. (A-State) - The Arkansas State University family mourns the loss of one of their all-time greats with the passing Sunday, May 4, of Bill Templeton, who spent 53 years as part of the A-State Athletics Department as either a student-athlete, coach or administrator.
Affectionately known to many as "Coach Temp," Templeton was a resident of Jonesboro, Ark. Information regarding a visitation period and service will be available early this week.
"My deepest sympathies go out to the Templeton family," said Arkansas State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. "We lost a great Indian and Red Wolf this weekend. Bill was a staple of our program for over 50 years, and not only will our university miss him, but our whole community will too. He will be remembered as one of the greatest Indians and Red Wolves who ever lived."
Templeton was inducted into Arkansas State Athletics Hall of Honor in 1987 and the A-State Ring of Honor in 1997. The Ring of Honor, which recognizes the greatness of Red Wolves football through the induction of A-State's finest players and coaches, is located on the façade of the west side of Centennial Bank Stadium.
Also in recognition of his commitment and contributions to A-State, the Bill Templeton Recruiting Room is located in the Red Wolves' football facility and houses numerous A-State trophies, ranging from his time as a coach at the school all the way through last season's Sun Belt Conference championship and GoDaddy Bowl victory.
Templeton worked with the Red Wolves Foundation, formerly the Red Wolf Club and Indian Club, since 1978, serving as the Director and Coordinator, Director of Major Gifts, and, most recently, Director of Planned Giving. During his time as Director and Coordinator of the Indian Club, he developed an endowment scholarship fund of over 1.5 million dollars and helped to rebuild the membership base.
Prior to running the Indian Club, he spent 13 years as an assistant football coach at A-State. He joined the staff in 1965 under Bennie Ellender and became the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Bill Davidson in 1971. During his time as an assistant, he coached A-State's offensive backfield in three Pecan Bowl games (1968, 1969, and 1970).
Before coaching at A-State, he spent four years as a high school assistant coach (Osceola from 1958-59; Kennett, Mo., 1960; and Blytheville 1961). He was the head coach at Blytheville from 1962-64, and his 1964 team was runner-up in the state's toughest prep league.
Templeton, who turned 80 last fall, played football at Pocahontas High School from 1949-51 where he was a two-time all-state running back, played basketball, baseball and competed in track. He attended the University of Arkansas as a freshman and then transferred to Arkansas State University and lettered three years (1954-56) as a running back. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Arkansas State University in 1957 and 1960, respectively.