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Former Ole Miss head football coach Billy Kinard passes away

Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

As a player at Ole Miss, Kinard earned four letters in football and two in baseball.

Posted: Jul 2, 2018 2:36 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2018 2:54 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Billy Russell Kinard, 84, who took over as head football coach at Ole Miss when legendary coach John Vaught retired following the 1970 season, passed away Saturday, June 30, at his residence in Fort Payne, Alabama, following an extended illness.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, at Grace Presbyterian Church, located at 5760 Gault Avenue, North in Fort Payne. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, July 3 at the church from 12-2 p.m. A private graveside service will be held at a later date.

Kinard is survived by his wife of 62 ½ years, Kay H. Kinard; son Billy Kinard, Jr., daughter Kathy Kinard, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

When Kinard was selected to succeed Vaught, he became the first alumnus to serve as the Ole Miss head football coach, having played defensive back and halfback (1952-55) for Vaught, who had coached the Rebels 24 years, but retired following a heart attack suffered in mid-October of 1970.

In his first season as head coach, Kinard led Ole Miss to a 10-2 record 1971, the finest finish for the Rebels since 1963. The season included a 41-18 victory over Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl.

Following a 5-5 mark in 1972 and a 1-2 start in 1973, Vaught came out of retirement to replace Kinard for the remainder of the season and to also become the Ole Miss athletics director. After the 1973 campaign, Vaught once again retired, but remained on as athletics director.

Kinard also served one season as head football coach at Gardner-Webb University in 1978. His overall head coaching record was 20-14-1.

As a player at Ole Miss, Kinard earned four letters in football and two in baseball. He earned All-SEC baseball honors in 1956 when coach Tom Swayze's team claimed SEC Western Division and NCAA District III titles before finishing third in the College World Series.

Three of his older brothers, Frank (Bruiser), George and Henry also played football at Ole Miss. Bruiser, who is considered one of the greatest players in Ole Miss history, was a two-time (1936-37) All-American and is a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

During his four varsity seasons at Ole Miss, Frank Kinard helped the Rebels finish 34-6-3, win Southeastern Conference championships in 1954 and 1955 and play in two Sugar Bowls and one Cotton Bowl.

Following his senior season, Kinard was selected in the second round (25th overall pick) of the 1956 National Football League draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played his rookie season (1956) with the Browns and then two years (1957-58) with the Green Bay Packers before ending his professional career in 1960 with the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. Between his time with Green Bay and Buffalo, Kinard coached at Mainland High School in Florida in 1959.

Before returning to Ole Miss as head coach, Kinard had spent the 1970 season as defensive backfield coach under Frank Broyles at Arkansas. Prior to his single season with the Razorbacks, he had been a defensive back coach at Georgia (1967-69), Florida (1964-66), and Auburn (1962-63), working under Vince Dooley, Ray Graves and Shug Jordan.

Born on December 16, 1933 in Jackson, Mississippi, Kinard graduated from Jackson Central High School in 1952, He was selected to All-Big Eight Conference and All-State honors at halfback in 1951 and earned three letters in football. Kinard also starred in basketball at guard and in baseball as a catcher.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
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Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
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Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
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Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
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Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
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St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
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Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
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Choctaw58724
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