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DePauw's Bill Lynch to Retire after More Than 40 Years of Coaching

Bill Lynch, DePauw's head football coach, has announced his retirement effective January 2, 2020.
Bill Lynch, DePauw's head football coach, has announced his retirement effective January 2, 2020.

Courtesy of DePauw Sports Information

Greencastle, Ind. - Bill Lynch, DePauw's head football coach for eight seasons overall including the last seven, has announced his retirement effective January 2, 2020. A search for his replacement is underway.

"The time is right for my family and me," Lynch said. "I've been fortunate to have a great run in this profession, but with grandchild number 17 on the way there are many reasons for me to move on to the next stage with my family. Thanks to DePauw for the opportunity and especially to our director of athletics Stevie Baker-Watson. The support of the athletics and football staff has been outstanding and I really enjoyed coaching the young men who chose to attend DePauw."

"Bill is highly respected throughout college football and we will miss him tremendously," Baker-Watson said. "His mentorship and positive influence on the hundreds of men who have played here have been amazing. He and his staff have built a strong and healthy program here at DePauw and have earned the respect of the entire DePauw family.

A career spanning 40 years on the college sidelines at DePauw, Butler, Ball State, Northern Illinois and Indiana culminated in last Saturday's 17-13 Monon Bell Game win over Wabash. In his eight seasons with the Tigers, Lynch's teams compiled a 53-27 record including 40-20 in conference games.

During his first stint as a head coach with the Tigers, Lynch succeeded long-time DePauw head coach Nick Mourouzis and was the 2004 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, marking the first time a football coach in his initial year in the SCAC earned the distinction. During that season he coached wide receiver/returner JaMarcus Shephard who was one of two Division III players invited to the 2005 Hula Bowl Maui All-Star Classic. Over the course of his eight seasons, he led DePauw to four 8-2 campaigns including three straight from 2015 through 2017.

Among the 80 all-conference honors garnered by the student-athletes he has coached while at DePauw, two were newcomers of the year, one was a co-special teams player of the year and another an offensive player of the year. He coached one American Football Coaches Association All-America selection and five have earned D3football.com all-region honors. Two of his student-athletes earned the distinction of Academic All-America® and more than 30 achieved conference academic honors.

Lynch's head coaching career spanned 25 seasons with stops at Butler (1985-89), Ball State (1995-2002), DePauw (2004, 2013-present) and Indiana (2007-10). Over those 25 seasons, his teams compiled a 145-122-3 record. 

In January 2005, Lynch was named the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Indiana where he joined longtime friend and head coach Terry Hoeppner.

The interim head coach for two games during the 2006 season, Lynch was named the head coach in June 2007 just days before coach Hoeppner passed away after battling cancer. Lynch directed Indiana to a 7-6 record in 2007 and a berth to the Insight Bowl. He was the only head coach in Indiana history to guide his team to a bowl game in his first season and just the fourth to lead a team to a postseason game. The seven victories in his debut season were the second most for a first-year Hoosiers head coach. In his four seasons in Bloomington, Lynch added a pair of "I's"  to the Old Oaken Bucket chain, defeating Purdue in 2007 and 2010.

Lynch mentored three all-Americans, one Academic All-America® selection, seven first team all-Big Ten selections, 74 academic all-Big Ten honorees and a Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient.

Prior to coming to DePauw, the 1977 Butler University graduate served as associate athletic director for development at his alma mater. In that role he was responsible for athletics annual giving through the Bulldog Club and served as a major gift officer for athletics. He also was the football administrator.

A four-year letter winner in both football and basketball and captain of each at Butler, Lynch earned Associated Press Little All-America honors at quarterback in 1974, 1975 and 1976 and was the first Butler student-athlete to twice earn the Indiana Collegiate Conference's prestigious Tony Hinkle Award presented for both outstanding scholastic and athletic achievement. Lynch was the Indiana Collegiate Conference Player of the Year and ICC Back of the Year all three seasons. He still holds the school record with 60 career touchdown passes and ranks third with 5,909 career passing yards. He also led the basketball team in assists in 1975-76.

After graduation, Lynch spent seven seasons as a Bulldogs assistant coach, including stints as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach, recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator. He moved on to Northern Illinois University as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in 1984, and was the quarterbacks coach of the United States Football League's Orlando Renegades in 1984.

Lynch then returned to Butler in 1985 when he was named the Bulldogs' head coach. While at the then NCAA Division II program, his teams compiled a 36-12-3 record including Heartland Collegiate Conference championships in 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1989.

He was named the conference's coach of the year in 1985, 1987 and 1988 and the American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1988. Lynch directed the Bulldogs to the Division II postseason in 1988 and into the top 20 rankings four times.

Lynch then moved on to Ball State University where he served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Cardinals from 1990-92. He served as quarterback coach for Indiana in 1993 and 1994 and returned to Ball State in 1995 as head coach, beginning an eight-year stint that included a Mid-American Conference championship in 1996 and an appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl. He also directed the Cardinals to the MAC West Division co-championship in 2001. His teams were recognized by the AFCA for outstanding graduation rates in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Lynch was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and joined Mourouzis in the class of 2004 for induction into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

He and his wife, Linda, are the parents of daughter Kelly and sons Billy, Joey and Kevin.