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Sad Day for ASU: Bill Kajikawa Passes Away at Age 97

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An ASU legend has passed away today. Affectionately known as "Kaji", Bill Kajikawa was an influential building block of the football, basketball, and baseball programs at Arizona State.

Here is some information from the official press release:

Kajikawa began his coaching career at Arizona State in 1937 and retired from ASU in 1978. He began coaching the Arizona State Teacher’s College freshman football team in 1937, when the players were known as the Bulldogs.  During his tenure, Kajikawa watched the Bulldogs become the Sun Devils in 1946, and he saw his alma mater gain university status in 1958.
 
Before retiring in 1978, Kajikawa had worked as the freshman football coach under nine ASU head football coaches.  In addition, he served as head basketball coach from 1948 to 1957, and he was head coach of ASU’s club baseball team from 1947 to 1957.  He was inducted into the Arizona Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the ASU Hall of Distinction in 1982.
 
During World War II, Kajikawa took his only hiatus from ASU to serve with distinction in the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  The 442nd, manned entirely by Japanese Americans, was the Army’s most decorated combat unit.
 
He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from ASU in 1937 and 1948, respectively, and he played on the varsity football team while he was an undergraduate. Kajikawa received an honorary doctor of laws degree from ASU during the summer 1989 commencement ceremony.
 
Kajikawa, who was a professor emeritus of physical education at ASU, was recognized on April 6, 1995, in a ceremony that named the Sun Devil football practice field The Bill Kajikawa Practice Facility.

A Sun Devil through and through. Let him always be remembered by the fans that fill the seats, and the players that adorn the maroon and gold.

The Tempe History Museum did a two hour interview with the coach in 1995. You can read the transcript of the interview here. There is some interesting stuff in there.