MANHATTAN, Kan. – An 11-year head coach who led Kansas State to the first bowl game in program history, Jim Dickey passed away in Houston, Texas, on Sunday at the age of 84.
Dickey became K-State’s 24th head coach on December 29, 1977, as he took over a program that had 6-27 record the previous three years. After going a combined 11-22 his first three seasons, Dickey took the unusual approach of redshirting multiple players – including upperclassmen – in 1981 to set the program up for a breakout the next year.
The tactic worked as K-State produced its first winning season in 12 years by going 6-5-1 in 1982, including a 33-10 victory over Colorado in the regular-season finale to propel the Wildcats to their first-ever bowl game, the 1982 Independence Bowl.
For his efforts, Dickey was named the 1982 Big 8 Coach of the Year, just the second conference coach of the year honoree in program history. The 1982 season also produced three All-Big 8 players in split end Mike Wallace, cornerback Greg Best and defensive tackle Reggie Singletary, the most all-conference Wildcats in 12 years.
Dickey’s life will be celebrated on Friday morning in Houston. Arrangements are being handled by Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home.
Asst. Director/Athletics Communications | K-State Athletics