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Willis P. Bilderback

Hall of Fame


Inducted 1973


Rutgers University

Willis (Bildy) Bilderback, Rutgers Class of 1930 joins three other illustrious Rutgers alumni - Joseph (Frenchy) Julian, Albert Twitchell, and George Latimer in the Hall of Fame. Bildy was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and graduated from Rutgers in 1930, where he letttered in lacrosse in 1929 and 1930, football in 1929, and wrestling in 1928 and 1929. His lacrosse coach and mentor was the immortal Fred Fitch.

Bilderback's coaching career commenced in 1930 when he became football coach at the Neptune High School. From there he coached at the Rahway High School, and then at the Irvington High School from 1935-1942. He entered the U.S Navy in 1942 as a chief specialist and was assigned to the United States Naval Academy in 1944. While at the Academy, he achieved a coaching record that is absolutely unparalleled in the annals of United States lacrosse.

From 1947 to 1958, Bilderback was the coach of the Plebe Team which won 57 games, lost 16 and tied 3. His Plebe teams had six unbeaten seasons. After this phenomenal record, he went on to achieve even greater heights as Navy's varsity lacrosse coach. His teams from 1959 to 1972 won an astounding 123 games while losing just 22 and tying one. His teams won or shared nine Intercollegiate Championships, including eight straight, and became the first to win four straight national championships. Bill Bilderback passed away in 1990.