Founding Father of Wisconsin Soccer’ Bill Reddan passes away - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Founding Father of Wisconsin Soccer’ Bill Reddan passes away

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 William “Bill” Reddan, the inaugural head coach of the Wisconsin men’s soccer program, passed away on Monday at the age of 90.

Inducted into the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009, Reddan introduced men’s soccer as a club sport at UW in 1964 and coached the intramural team for 13 years. On July 19, 1977, when the UW Athletic Board and Wisconsin Athletic Director Elroy Hirsch approved the addition of men’s soccer as the university’s 14th varsity men’s sport, Reddan was named the head coach.

Reddan coached the Badgers for five seasons, compiling a 49-27-9 record. In 1981 he led UW to its first NCAA tournament berth following a 15-1-2 regular season. After stepping down as head coach, Reddan served as an assistant coach from 1982-96 and saw his dreams come to fruition when Wisconsin won the 1995 NCAA championship.

“On behalf of the Wisconsin soccer program and all of our alumni and former coaches, I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to the Reddan family,” Wisconsin men’s soccer coach John Trask said. “Coach Reddan was a true pioneer of our game and we have a great appreciation for all that he did for the sport of soccer, not only at the University of Wisconsin but throughout the Madison community. He was a special person who had a tremendous impact on a number of people’s lives and his legacy will live on.”

Reddan’s fingerprints can still be found on the UW program and the Madison soccer community. There is a UW men’s team award presented annually called the William G. Reddan Spirit of Soccer Award, given to the player who “best exemplifies Bill Reddan’s positive spirit of the game of soccer.” The soccer complex in nearby Verona also bears his name: Reddan Soccer Park.

In addition to his induction into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame, Reddan became a member of the Wisconsin Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2006 he was also inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame.

(UW Athletics contributed information to this article.)

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