By Todd Purvis/Sports editor
During the summer, legendary coach Roy Kidd was inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame. Kidd was inducted into the Hall on the weekend of May 30-31 during the OVC’s Honors Luncheon in Nashville, Tenn.
“It was a tremendous weekend, everything they did was first class. It was unreal,” Kidd said.
Kidd retired as head coach of his alma mater after the 2002 football season, where he was the sixth all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I or I-AA football history.
Kidd coached the Colonels for 39 years, racking up a record of 315-123-8 (71 percent of the games were wins).
“It was my university, and it was a school that I was so proud of,” Kidd said. “When you coach at your own alma mater and see them succeed it makes you even more proud.”
During Kidd’s stay at Eastern, 1964-2002, he led the Colonels to 16 OVC titles and made a record 17 NCAA Division I-AA national championship contests, winning the title in 1979 and 1982.
Kidd had a great deal of success while coaching at Eastern, and added that there were too many fond memories to single out the best.
“There have just been too many great memories, we have had some great wins and some tough losses, it is impossible to single out just one thing,” Kidd said.
Kidd was a two-time Division I-AA national Coach of the Year and 10-time OVC Coach of the Year. He has the third most victories at a single school among all divisions in NCAA history. During his 39-year stay at Eastern, his teams posted 37 non-losing seasons, that included a current streak of 25 consecutive seasons with a winning record.
“It was a great honor to be able to coach there for all of those years,” Kidd said.
During Kidd’s tenure at Eastern, he coached 41 players who went on to play at the professional level, signing National Football League contracts. Kidd also coached 55 All-Americans and 202 First Team All-OVC players.
“It makes me proud to see kids go on to play in the NFL, as well as those that go on to having a productive life outside of football,” Kidd said. “It is disappointing when some of the kids go on to be successful after they graduate, and they forget about the university that has been so great to them.”
Kidd is a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and is the Eastern football stadium named in his honor.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s highest football award is given each season to the best high school football player in Kentucky.
It is named the Roy Kidd Award. Beginning in the 2003 season, the OVC Coach of the Year award will be named the Roy Kidd OVC Coach of the Year Award.
“It makes me proud having the stadium and other awards named after me, but the success that I had came from the hard work of many different people,” Kidd said.
Kidd is a native of Corbin. He joins four other members, among the OVC Hall of Fame’s 50-member club, with Eastern Kentucky University ties. Among these are former Eastern President Robert R. Martin (inducted in the initial Hall of Fame Class in 1977), former longtime Eastern Kentucky baseball coach and Athletics Director Charles T. Hughes who was a founding father of the conference when it was formed in 1948, former Eastern Director of Athletics Donald Combs and former Eastern Baseball Coach Jim Ward.
“It was tough giving up the coaching job because we now have a great athletics director (John Safer) that knows what it takes to win, and a great president (Joanne Glasser) that is very supportive of the program,” Kidd said. “I’m glad that I had the opportunity to coach here. I’ll miss the players and the game, but I think that the program is in great hands with Danny Hope.
“I’m looking forward to enjoying the game and tailgating this season.”