About Dr. W. Glenn Killinger

Dr. W. Glenn Killinger (1898-1988) was a legend.  Spanning an era of 48 years, his career has been distinguished by the fulfillment of professional goals and the attainment of personal ideals of success that have brought national recognition to West Chester and the respect of his colleagues.

A professor on the West Chester State College faculty for thirty-six years, "Killy" as he is affectionately called by his many friends, was a dedicated and inspiring teacher, popular dean of men, wise counselor, and brilliant coach until his retirement in 1970.

Dr. Killinger entered the Pennsylvania State University in September 1917, during the First World War, after learning he was too young to enlist for military service.  He registered for a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering and enrolled in the Student Army Training Corps.  It was at Penn State that Dr. Killinger came under the tutelage of a nationally famous coach, Hugo Bezdek, who was to leave a lasting impression upon the young athlete.

Under Bezdek's inspiration, Dr. Killinger was to make the following four years significant ones in the varsity sports annals of the college, during which time he earned nine letters in football, baseball, and basketball.  A phenomenal broken-field runner and aggressive quarterback, he acquired a deserved reputation and in 1921 was named as a halfback by Walter Camp on his first All-American football team.

Following graduation in 1922, Dr. Killinger continued his career in athletics, this time as a professional player and coach.  In the latter capacity, he served as head football coach at Dickinson College during 1922; backfield coach at his alma mater from 1923 to 1926, where he was also head coach of baseball; head coach of football at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1927 to 1932; and head coach at Moravian College during 1933, coaching football, basketball, and baseball.  Additionally, he played for the New York Yankees in major league baseball and played and managed in minor league baseball—he also played for one season with the New York Giants professional football team.

Recognition of Dr. Killinger's achievements as an athlete have included induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1964, induction into the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 1966, and election to the Coaches' Hall of Fame by the American Association of College Baseball Coaches in 1970.  Sharing in these honors were his wife and constant companion, Wilda, and his son, Bill.

Killy used to say, "You must do better than your best."  It has been said of Dr. Killinger that, "He never likes to do anything he doesn't know anything about.  He knows the rules.  He studies them inside and out, backwards and forwards...Throughout his entire professional career the coach has been a stickler for perfection."

Perhaps his personal impact upon West Chester University students was summed up best in the 1958 yearbook, The Serpentine, which was dedicated to Dr. Killinger: "In every age, capable leaders are needed to guide and to inspire youth.  West Chester is fortunate to have as a member of its professional staff Dr. W. Glenn Killinger, who has been a source of inspiration to many students.  Dr. Killinger represents honor, sportsmanship, enthusiasm, and above all, loyal friendship.  To us he represents that great combination of strength in mind and in body which opens doors to education and to success."  A further impact was made on October 25, 1968, when Killinger Men's Residence Hall was dedicated in his honor.
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