Eastern Kentucky University football fans reflect on life and legacy of former coach Roy Kidd

EKU fans, family of Coach Kidd gather at game to remember him
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 10:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Saturday marked the first Eastern Kentucky University football game after the team’s former coach, Roy Kidd, died on Tuesday.

Kidd was best known for leading the colonels to two national championships and earning his spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.

“You cannot help but celebrate what he’s done for this school, for the region, for the students here,” said EKU student Neboll Appicelli.

As many EKU fans get were preparing to hit the stands, several colonels reflected on Kidd’s life and all he’s accomplished throughout his 38-year tenure.

“He leaves behind a legacy of winning, good sportsmanship, of being a standup guy to the community and to the school, and I think just when anybody in the community says his name, they smile,” said EKU alumna Donna Hays.

For family friend and former EKU football manager Jeff Reed, he said Kidd’s passion for others exceeded his love for the game.

“My four years of being football manager, you learn that he really cared, obviously about winning, but more so, he cared about the players. He cared about their personal lives,” Reed said.

Kidd’s family was also in attendance at Saturday’s tailgate, including Kidd’s grandson Nicholas Kuhl.

“As a grandchild, we saw him obviously privately and really got to know him as papaw, that’s what we called him,” Kuhl said. “He’s left a mark, I think, within Central Kentucky, within the university, and certainly within our family that we’ll remember forever. There’s definitely a void left by him.”

Those who admire Kidd said he leaves behind a legacy that will withstand the test of time for EKU.

“I think that’s why you see so many people here today that still love Roy Kidd, because he was Eastern,” Hays added.

Kuhl added that there is no other place his family would rather be on this gameday than cheering on the colonels in honor of Coach Kidd.