2006 Special Induction Ceremony
Bill Diedrick Jr. Inducted Into Hall of Fame
It was an overdue honor, but only because Bill Diedrick Jr. was usually a little busy in the fall.
The Spokane native and former Eastern All-America quarterback was inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 28, 2006, as part of EWU's Homecoming Football game against Northern Arizona at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash.
Diedrick led Eastern to the NAIA Championship game in 1967, earning All-America honors for a squad that was the inaugural team inducted into Eastern's Hall of Fame in 2001. He was selected for induction in 2005, but was unable to attend the semi-annual induction ceremonies because of his coaching commitments.
Besides being a record-breaking quarterback at Eastern, Diedrick spent more than 30 years coaching high school, collegiate and professional football. He went on to an illustrious collegiate coaching career with stops at Montana State, Idaho, Washington State, Washington, Stanford, Notre Dame and the Canadian Football League.
"Spending 36 years in coaching have given me a lot of wonderful honors and opportunities,"said Diedrick at the time of his induction. "But none compare to the three honors I received as a player -- playing for a national championship, being named an All-American and now being selected into the Hall of Fame at Eastern."
Bill's father, Bill Diedrick Sr., passed away on April 3, 2005, and is already a member of the Inland Northwest Hall of Fame Scroll of Honor in recognition for the 70 years he spent in the region as an athlete, coach, trainer and groundskeeper. A 1942 Eastern graduate, "Mouse" was also inducted into the Washington State Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1979.
Diedrick Jr. was a second team NAIA All-America selection for Eastern in 1967 when he quarterbacked the team to an 11-1 record and an appearance in the NAIA Championship game. Eastern lost that game 28-21 to Fairmont State, but it marked the high point in a revival of Eastern football under head coach Dave Holmes. Before the arrival of Holmes -- who is an inaugural member of Eastern's Hall of Fame -- Eastern was winless in the 1961 and 1962 seasons.
"I truly believe the lessons we were taught by our coaches have really been the foundation and guiding focus in my coaching career," said Diedrick.
A graduate of Spokane's North Central High School, Diedrick played for Eastern in 1965 (8-1), 1966 (7-1-1), 1967 (11-1) and 1969 (4-5) for a collective record of 30-8-1. In his career he completed 274-of-532 passes (51.5 percent) for 4,076 yards, 50 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. His career passing efficiency rating of 136.7 stood as a record for nearly 30 years, as did his single season rating of 157.0 in 1967.
He completed 121-of-221 passes (55 percent) for 1,995 yards and 25 touchdowns in 1967, with his touchdown total standing as a school record for 34 years until being broken in the 2001 season.
"I recall the closeness and chemistry we had as a team," Diedrick also played baseball at Eastern, and was the school's batting champion in 1969 with a .298 average. He graduated from Eastern in 1970, and received his master's degree in 1971 from the University of Hawaii where he served as a graduate assistant under Holmes.
"I will always treasure my days at Eastern," he said, "from my first training camp as a young freshman to the day I departed Cheney to begin my coaching career."said Diedrick of the Eastern teams he played on. "We were a collection from all over the state of Washington -- mostly from small communities and a few of us from larger cities. We cared about one another and the only important thing was playing well, not letting your teammates down and winning. We had some very intense rivalries with Central and Western. Years later, many of these hated players from opposing teams became very close friends in the coaching ranks." said Diedrick.
Diedrick had stops at Ferris High School (assistant from 1971-75), Rogers High School (head coach from 1976-81) and Whitworth College (offensive coordinator from 1982-83) before moving to Bozeman, Mont., and Montana State University. He was there two years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, including the 1984 season when the Bobcats won the NCAA Division I-AA national title.
He had stops as offensive coordinator at Idaho (1986-88) and Washington State (1989-90) before coaching two years for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League. He then joined the staff of the Washington Huskies from 1994-97, then served four years at Stanford under Tyrone Willingham.
Stanford averaged 30.4 points and 422.4 yards per game in four years, including 37.1 points and 451.5 yards in 2001 when the Cardinal ranked in the top 10 nationally in both categories. Stanford broke a 50-year-old school record in 1999 with 409 total points, and had a school record 5,138 yards of total offense.
He joined Willingham at Notre Dame in 2002 as the Irish finished 10-3 and ended the season ranked 16th nationally. He also spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons at Notre Dame before returning to the CFL to serve as coach of the Calgary Stampeders. He also coached in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts and in college football at Indiana State before returnign to Spokane in 2009 to coach at University High School.
Diedrick coached many highly-touted quarterbacks in his more than 30-year coaching career, including Brady Quinn (Notre Dame), Todd Husak (Stanford), Randy Fasani (Stanford), Chris Lewis (Stanford), Joe Borchard (Stanford), Marques Tuiasosopo (Washington), Damon and Brock Huard (Washington), Drew Bledsoe (WSU), John Friesz (Idaho) and Kelly Bradley (MSU). In all, 12 quarterbacks he coached went on to play in the NFL.
As a coach, Diedrick received a Lifetime Award from the American Football Coaches Association and was a member of the East-West Shrine Game coaching staff. The 1984 Montana State football team that won the NCAA Division I-AA title has been inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame.
In addition, Diedrick has coached in 13 playoff games and eight bowl games in his collegiate and professional coaching career.
Diedrick was one of the eight quarterbacks on Eastern's "100 for 100" All-Time Football Team released in June 2008 by the EWU Athletic Department. The overall "100 for 100" squad consisted of 100 of the top players in school history to help commemorate the 100th year of football at Eastern. Players were honored on Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day on Sept. 27, 2008, in conjunction with EWU's Big Sky Conference football game with Idaho State.
More on Bill "Mouse" Diedrick Sr. . . .
The father of Eagle great Bill Diedrick Jr., Bill Sr., lettered in football at Eastern in 1941 when he earned the school's Scarlet Arrow Award. A 1942 graduate of Eastern and before that a graduate of Rogers High School in Spokane, Diedrick was active in the Spokane sports scene for 70 years as an athlete, coach, trainer and groundskeeper. In 1991 he was selected to the Inland Empire Sports Hall of Fame Scroll of Honor in 1991, and prior to that was selected to the Washington Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1979. He was also honored with a Bulldogs Club Service Award by Gonzaga in 1990, and was also honored for spending 60 years as a member of the American Legion. After a stint in the Navy, he started working in 1947 at Reardan High School and moved the following year to North Central High School. He was at North Central for 25 years where he coached varsity wrestling and all levels of football, baseball and swimming. He also coached wrestling at Gonzaga University for six years beginning in 1964 when the program was started. He spent countless years in athletic training, primarily at NC but also at Gonzaga and for anyone else who needed help. He also served as equipment manager at Gonzaga University and grounds superintendent at Spokane Indians Baseball Stadium. Born in 1917 in Sandpoint, Idaho, he was a member of the first graduating class at Rogers High School in Spokane in 1935 where he was a standout football player. He passed away on April 3, 2005, at the age of 87.