Hall of Fame Coach Roy Kidd Passes Away
Won two national titles for Eastern Kentucky and 71.4 percent of his games during 39 years as head coach.
Coach Roy Kidd, the 2003 College Football Hall of Fame inductee who headed the program at Eastern Kentucky from 1964-2002, passed away Sept. 12 having recently entered hospice. He was 91.
“Roy Kidd left a legacy for the ages, touching the lives of countless players and mentoring hundreds of assistant coaches along the way,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “His place among our sport’s all-time greatest coaches is secured for all-time at the Hall, and we are deeply saddened to learn of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time of loss.”
At the conclusion of his career, Roy Kidd’s 315 victories ranked second to only Grambling coach Eddie Robinson on the all-time NCAA Division I-AA win list. In 1967, he won his first of 16 Ohio Valley Conference championships and also claimed a Grantland Rice Bowl victory. When the NCAA created Division I-AA football in 1978, the EKU program flourished with the addition of 20 extra scholarships. In 1979, Kidd won his first of two national championships. They returned to the championship game the next two seasons only to lose close decisions. In 1982, EKU returned to the title game, defeating Delaware to complete a perfect 13-0 season and his second title.
Every season since his final national title squad, Kidd produced a winning team. He added 13 more playoff trips to his record total of 18 playoff appearances. In one stretch his teams went to the post-season in 16 of 17 seasons. He posted an overall record of 315-124-8, winning 71.4 percent of his games, and he coached 55 All-Americans while 41 of his players went on to sign NFL contracts.
Before becoming the head coach, Kidd played quarterback at Eastern, earning Little All-American honors, and then began a successful stint as a high school coach and then as a college assistant at Morehead State and EKU before assuming the top job in 1964.
Coach Kidd served as President of the American Football Coaches Association, and he won numerous honors on the national and conference level, including twice being named NCAA Division I-AA National Coach of the Year and claiming OVC Coach of the Year honors ten times. In January 2023, he received the American Football Coaches Association’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, which honors those “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football.”
The EKU football stadium is named Roy Kidd Stadium in his honor; the street in front of the stadium was renamed Roy and Sue Kidd Way; and a statue of the legendary coach and a wall honoring players, staff and managers is located in the north end zone. A street in front of Corbin High School’s football stadium is also named in his honor. Coach Kidd is also a member of the EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni, the EKU Athletics Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, the OVC Hall of Fame and the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. Additionally, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s highest football award, given to the best high school football player in the state each season, is named the Roy Kidd Award, and the Roy Kidd OVC Coach of the Year Award is presented annually.
Born on Dec. 4, 1931, in Corbin, Kentucky, Coach Kidd is survived by his wife of 62 years, Susan ‘Sue’ Purcell Kidd, their three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Services for Coach Kidd will be held at the EKU Center for the Arts with Bill Fort officiating. A private burial will follow in the Richmond Cemetery. Dates and times of the services will be announced. In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made in his honor to the Roy and Sue Kidd Endowed Scholarship at Eastern Kentucky University. Checks can be mailed to the EKU Foundation, CPO 19, 521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, KY 40475. Online gifts can be made at go.eku.edu/Give-Kidd.