Richard E. (Dick) BALDWIN

Obituary
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BALDWIN, Richard E. (Dick), coach, teacher, mentor, husband and father, born August 24, 1921, passed away peacefully one year ago, on December 8, 2011, in Tampa, Florida, at age 90. He was survived for six months by his wife of 65 years, Janet Louise Baldwin. He is also survived by three daughters, Judy Baldwin, Sandy Thomas, and Debbie Bere; five grandchildren, Richard Baldwin Thomas, Lauren Thomas Compton, Heather Stephanie Ryan, Joe G. Conley and Cody Richard Conley; six great grandchildren; his brother-in-law, Dr. Philip L. Reitz, and his wife, Joanne, and their children. Allan G. "Babe" Baldwin, his younger brother, died in WWII at age 20. Dick and his wife, Janet grew up as next-door-neighbors in Olean, NY. Dick played basketball at the University of Rochester, and was elected "cage captain" after an unbeaten 1941- 42 season. One newspaper headline read: "The li'l guy with the eagle eye, Biggie Baldwin," because he was the smallest man on the squad and had an uncanny set-shot. The nickname, "Biggie" stayed with him throughout college, where he lettered in basketball, football, and golf. During WWII, Dick spent 3 ½ years in the Eighth Army Air Force, as a bombsight mechanic and automatic pilot instructor. In 1947, with a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Rochester, Baldwin was hired at the newly established 2-year State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, now Broome Community College, in Binghamton, NY. Baldwin coached basketball, golf, baseball, and cross country; was a professor of English for 10 years; the Director of Public Relations for 6 years; and the Director of Athletics for 39 years. Coach Baldwin won 879 basketball games while at Broome, and at one time was the "winningest college basketball coach in history" on any collegiate level, surpassing Adolph Rupp's record 876 wins. Coach Baldwin retired after 40 years, but came out of retirement to coach basketball for Binghamton University for five years, completing his career with 961 wins. He was inducted into five halls of fame: 1984 National Junior College Basketball Hall of Fame, Charter Member; 1988 NACDA Athletic Director's Hall of Fame; 1993 New York State Basketball Hall of Fame; 1995 University of Rochester Athletic Hall of Fame; 2006 Binghamton University Athletic Hall of Fame. He was featured in the February 14, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated. Dick Baldwin was a scratch golfer at the Binghamton Country Club, where he served as the president and as a member of the Board of Governors. He was the club champion four times. Throughout the years, he played in Tampa at the Avila Golf and Country Club with his son-in-law, Rick Thomas. Dick and his wife, Janet, lived in Tampa for their last three years. There was a memorial celebration for Coach Baldwin on April 28, 2012 at the Broome Community College Richard E. Baldwin Gymnasium.

Published in TBO.com on Dec. 8, 2012
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