The Illinois State University athletic community is mourning the loss of longtime volunteer assistant softball coach Bill Dickson. He was 85 when he died Thursday of natural causes.
ISU head coach Melinda Fischer met Dickson nearly 20 years ago when he came to her and offered to help her with Redbird softball.
“We were just blessed to have our paths cross,” Fischer said. “I mean, he touched so many lives. So many of our players, so many of our coaches, even other coaches. He was just one of those guys you’ll always remember.”
Dickson spent most of his life playing or coaching softball. He was a softball player, coach and educator for over 50 years. He began his softball career as an undergraduate at ISU and went on to become a hall of fame inductee.
He was an educator for 38 years before retiring. From there, he returned to Bloomington-Normal, where he volunteered with the ISU softball program for the remainder of his life and impacted the lives of many of Fischer’s players.
“With the girls, he was a father figure and a grandfather figure,” Fischer said. “He was somebody that could tell them advice on not only softball related issues, but also on professional issues, life – he was just a life lessons person for us, in all aspects of life.”
Dickson is survived by his wife, Sonia C. Wells, and his sister, June Walden.
The Redbird softball program is planning a celebration of life for a later date.
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.