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Founding Father of Wisconsin Soccer and Former PHS Professor, Bill Reddan Passes Away

The following Memorial Resolution of William G. Reddan, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Population Health Sciences and Kinesiology
was written and submitted by:
Jerome A. Dempsey, Professor Emeritus of Population Health Sciences
Edward H. Vidruk, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine

Memorial Resolution on the Death of William G. Reddan, PhD

Bill Reddan died on December 18, 2017 at age 90. He spent his life serving his family, his country, the greater Madison community, and UW-Madison with extraordinary distinction. Bill was born and raised in St. Louis in a sports and education centered family. He served in the US military in both WWII and Korean Wars, graduated from UW-Madison with an MS, and PhD—the latter achieved in 1965 as the inaugural graduate student in Dr. John Rankin’s laboratory of Pulmonary Medicine—and served as a faculty member from 1968 to his retirement in 1996.
Bill was the “founding father” of soccer in Madison and at the UW—serving as founder of the pioneering Madison 56ers club, the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association, and then as the first coach of the UW soccer program, culminating with an NCAA Championship in 1995 under the tutelage of Bill and his protégé, head coach Jim Launder. Bill not only coached the Badgers, he and his late wife Betty made and maintained the uniforms, constructed the goal posts, and provided a loving extended family for the players. His election in to all of our state’s soccer and sports halls of fame always prompted the same humble response from Bill: ”Geez guys, what’s the big deal?!”
Professor Reddan taught anatomy and physiology and researched the physiology of exercise, temperature regulation, and respiratory system aging. Several of Bill’s seminal research findings--especially those concerning the physiologic effects of temperature changes during exercise, the effects of lifelong endurance training on the aging lung, and the respiratory adaptations to sustained hypoxic exposure--continue to be relevant and cited today. \Importantly Bill also served as an advisor to the majority of the 68 pre- and postdoctoral trainees in the Rankin Laboratory many of whom have become academic and scientific leaders. Several of them fondly recalled their interactions with Bill. For example,
“He always had a twinkle in his eye and a genuine love of helping others.”
“I am a better person and the world a better place for having Bill in it.”
“I have especially fond memories of how kind he was to me when I arrived in Madison as a very nervous and lonely postdoc.”
“He taught me more than physiology—lessons that continue to guide me and inspire me to this day.”
“Bill was a mentor of smile and good will to those he touched.”
Bill is survived by his children, Howie, Mary, and John, and 3 grandchildren.
Bill Reddan was a good man and a dependable and loyal friend who lived a good and full life in the service and betterment of many of us.

Good on ya, Modic!