It is with great regret and sorrow
that I must notify you of the death of our classmate, Bill Belknap, on 17 July
2020, in Moscow, ID, as a result of kidney disease.
Bill is survived by his wife,
Donna; their daughter, Kim, and son, Bill; four grandchildren; and one great
Funeral plans are pending.
Condolences may be sent to Donna
at 840 Conestoga Drive, Moscow, ID 83843.
In lieu of flowers, donations in
Bill's memory may be sent to the University of Idaho, Bill Belknap Scholarship
Fund, 875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3151, Moscow, ID 83844-3151.
Well done, Bill. Be thou at
Click here to go to
Bill's Last Roll Call Tribute.
Willard S. (Bill) Belknap passed away on July 17, 2020 after a struggle with
Congestive Heart Failure.
Bill was born to Willard L. and Wilma H. Belknap in New Castle, Pennsylvania on
March 18, 1939. He is survived by one sister, Linda Lenz, who resides in
Bill attended the public schools in New Castle, played football, was a class
officer, and graduated in 1957. He was recruited to attend the US Military
Academy at West Point, entering on July 3rd, 1957 and graduating in 1961 with a
commission in the Artillery of the US Army. He served in the 25th Infantry
Division, resigning his commission in 1965.
At heart, he was a football coach. He had the good fortune to coach for two
years while in the Army and left the service to pursue his dream. He coached
football for ten years at the University of Arizona on the staff of four
different head coaches while also obtaining his masterís degree. He served for
three years as Associate Director of Athletics at UA before moving to the
University of Idaho to accept the position of Athletic Director in 1978.
Bill loved the ten years spent as Director of Athletics at the U of I and
enjoyed a huge stretch of success. Vandal Athletics was in a slump on his
arrival, but with improved fundraising, some very good hires and good fortune,
things turned around quickly. Bill hired coaches Don Monson, Dennis Erickson,
Keith Gilbertson, Tim Floyd, and Pat Dobratz. Seven different Vandal teams
combined to win 13 conference titles, as well as a 1986 WNIT title in womenís
basketball. Football and menís basketball both garnered NCAA top-10 final
finishes, and Idahoís womenís teams earned the 1982-83 All-Sports Champion honor
for the Mountain West Athletic Conference during Billís tenure. Bill was
inducted into the North Idaho Hall of Fame (2003) as well as the University of
Idaho Hall of Fame (2008). Following this golden era as the AD of Vandal
Athletics, Bill moved into another role serving the University as director of
development and executive director of the U of I Foundation during the
Pulled back by his love of athletics, Bill left the U of I to accept the
position of NCAA Southland Conference Commissioner, headquartered in Plano,
Texas. After three years as Commissioner, his desire to be back on a college
campus brought him to Wichita State University where he served as Athletic
Director for six years, retiring in 1999.
On Billís third day in Arizona in 1965, he had the good fortune of meeting Donna
Gayle Sluder on a blind date. They were married ten months later on June 11,
1966. It was a great union and the beginning of a 54-year marriage. Donna
taught elementary school on each of Billís career stops once the kids reached
school age. They have two children, Kimberly and Billy. Kim is in the beauty
business, living in Priest River, Idaho and Billy works for the city of Moscow
in community development. Each of their children have two of their own. Kim is
married to Terry Miller and their daughter, Taylor, is head Volleyball Coach at
Spokane Falls Community College. Morgan teaches elementary school in Priest
River. She and her husband, Tyler Douglas, have one child, Leighton Lee, 9
months old. Billy and his wife Lisa have Madison, a senior at Moscow High
School, and Sawyer a student at Moscow Middle School. The grandchildren and
great grandchild have been a source of joy for Bill and Donna.
When Bill and Donna retired in 1999, they purchased an RV and hit the road for
two years, traveling coast to coast and border to border before settling down
again in Moscow again in 2001. They spent many summer days on the beaches of
Luby Bay on Priest Lake in their RV and also spent many winters in Tucson where
they made countless memories.
There will not be a funeral service. If you want to do something in
remembrance, the family suggests contributing to the Bill Belknap Endowed
Scholarship with the U of I Foundation.