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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Former ASU coach dies at 97

TEMPE — Bill Kajikawa, who coached three sports over a 41-year career at ASU, died Monday. He was 97.

His death comes a day after the end of the Kajikawa Classic, a 25-team softball tournament held in Tempe. The Wildcats went 6-0 at the event over the weekend while the hosting Sun Devils went 5-1.

The death was announced by officials at ASU where one of Kajikawa’s daughters, Dr. Christine Wilkinson, is senior vice president.

Kajikawa was head coach of ASU’s baseball team from 1947-57 and basketball team from 1948-57. He began coaching the school’s freshman football team in 1937. During his tenure, Kajikawa watched the Bulldogs become the Sun Devils in 1946 and he saw his alma mater gain university status in 1958.

Kajikawa, a Tempe native, retired in 1978. The school’s football practice field was named the Bill Kajikawa Practice Facility in April 1995.

He is survived by two daughters. Funeral services are pending.

— The Associated Press and Arizona Daily Wildcat

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