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What Led to HoF EKU Football Coach Roy Kidd’s Death at 91?


Hall of Fame Eastern Kentucky football coach Roy Kidd’s cause of death has not been made public at the time of this publication.

When Kidd moved to hospice care last week, EKU announced it would wear helmet decals honoring him during its game Saturday against Kentucky.

“There aren’t enough words to express everything that Coach Kidd meant to Eastern Kentucky University and the EKU football program,” Walt Wells, the Colonels current head football coach, said in a statement.

HoF EKU Football Coach Roy Kidd's Death at 91

Wells added: “Coach Kidd was not only one of the most accomplished coaches in college football history, he was also an amazing ambassador for EKU, Madison County, and the state of Kentucky.”

He served as the head coach of EKU from 1964 to 2002. He led the Colonels to two national championships (1979, 1982) in NCAA Division I-AA, which is known as the Football Championship Subdivision.

EKU captured 16 Ohio Valley Conference titles and had a pair of national runner-up finishes (1980, 1981).

He ended his playing career with 314 wins and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

When Kidd retired from coaching in 2002, he was second in all-time wins among coaches in FCS play.

A memorial service is being planned for Roy Kidd at the EKU Center for the Arts with Bill Fort officiating followed by a private burial in the Richmond Cemetery. The dates and times of both services will be announced later.

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Roy Kidd’s Cause of Death is Unknown

The circumstances surrounding Roy Kidd’s cause of death are not known at this time. The football coach passed away at the age of 91 on September 12, 2023.

EKU athletics director Matt Roan said in a statement: “Roy Kidd’s passing is a great loss for EKU, the city of Richmond, Madison County, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the entire college football community.”

Roan continued: “Coach Kidd’s impact on the people who were fortunate enough to know him was immeasurable and the pride he felt in being an EKU Colonel was apparent to everyone he met.

HoF EKU Football Coach Roy Kidd's Death at 91

College football is better for having Roy Kidd on the sidelines, EKU is better for having Roy Kidd on its campus, and we are all better for knowing and working with him. Thank you, Coach!”

Roy was a three-sport star at Corbin High School before arriving at EKU. Kidd returned to EKU as an assistant football coach in 1963,

After retiring from coaching, Kidd continued to work part-time in EKU’s development office.

“I want our people to have pride in this place, work hard to make it nice, get a good education, be a good person when you go out in the world and treat others the way you want to be treated,” Roy once said.

“My job was to win games and to make our players good people when they go out in the world.”

EKU named its stadium in Kidd’s honor and renamed the street in front of it Roy and Sue Kidd Way. The university erected a statue in Roy’s honor outside of the stadium in 2017.

Services for Roy Kidd will be held at the EKU Center for the Arts. A private burial will follow in the Richmond Cemetery. Dates and times of the services will be reported.

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