Don Bishop

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Donald Hall "Don" Bishop

(Physical education professor and athletic director at Campbellsville University, 1968-1997)

Born March 29, 1935
Hardin County, Kentucky

Long-term resident of Campbellsville, Kentucky

Died December 27, 2017 (aged 82)
Louisville, Kentucky
Spouse June Holman Bishop (married 1957-2017, his death)

Children:Robyn B. Lawless
Susan B. Pollock
Four grandchildren

Religion Southern Baptist

Donald Hall Bishop, known as Don Bishop (March 29, 1935[1] – December 27, 2017), was a Christian educator, coach, and athletic director who spent the lion's portion of his career at Southern Baptist-affiliated Campbellsville University in Taylor County in central Kentucky.[2]|


A son of the late Kenneth Bishop and the former Corrine Head, Bishop was born in Hardin County west of Campbellsville.[3] In 1953, he graduated from Elizabethtown High School in Elizabethtown, the seat of government for Hardin County. In 1955, he obtained his two-year degree from the then Campbellsville Junior College; two years later, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Baptist-affiliated Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. In 1965, he received the Master of Arts from Eastern Kentucky University, a public institution in Richmond. He was a public school teacher and coach for several years until he became the CU director of athletics, a post which he filled from 1968 until his retirement in 1997. He had also been a professor in the physical education department; in 1998, the CU board granted Bishop faculty emeritus status.[4]

Bishop and his wife, the former June Holman (born 1938), have two daughters and sons-in-law, all graduates of Campbellsville University. The former Robyn Bishop (born 1963) is married to Randy Lynn Lawless (born 1962); her sister, Susan (born 1967), is the wife of Michael E. "Sarge" Pollock (born 1966), a former director of alumni relations at CU.[4] There are four Bishop grandchildren and a great-grandson.[3]  


In his nearly three-decade career at CU, Bishop started and reinstated several athletic programs. He launched men's and women's programs for soccer, swimming and diving, and he oversaw the return of football to the campus in 1988, after an absence of fifty years. He also brought back cross country competition. He coached award-winning men's golf teams from 1969 to 1978. He also coached men's and women's tennis, track and field, cross country and was the freshman men's basketball coach. He worked to establish the CU Athletics Boosters and Big Maroon clubs and spearheaded the efforts to establish the Mid-South Conference in 1996. He led CU into the National Christian College Athletic Association. In 1986, the Bishops established an endowed fund to provide scholarships for students in physical education or CU athletic programs. In 2000, CU honored Bishop as the only inductee that year to the Athletic Hall of Fame.[4]    Current CU President Michael V. Carter described Bishop as "the epitome of ... a true Christian servant leader. He not only made impacts in our athletics department but in our academic programs and inside the community."[4] W. R. Davenport, the Campbellsville College president from 1969 to 1988, described Bishop as "a strong and significant leader for both our athletic and academic program with an emphasis in physical education. ...  The present success for our programs were built on the foundation that he laid so many years ago. He will be sorely missed, not only by his loving family, but by all of us who had the privilege of working with him through the years."[4] Another former CU president, Kenneth W. Winters, a former member of the Kentucky State Senate, said that Bishop "was a gentleman. He was a kind man who loved the students at Campbellsville and who loved the Lord. He was truly a one-of-a-kind man who worked hard to give Campbellsville University a strong athletic base."[4]

Frank Cheatham, a retired CU administrator, noted that Bishop "wore many hats. ... He was always interested in the success of student-athletes, and he spent many hours working with students to help them succeed. Most importantly, Don always lived his life showing his love for the Lord."[4] CU athletics director James A. "Jim" Hardy (born 1962) called Bishop "the administrative foundation" on which the current athletics programs are built: "Don taught me to always remember to use the platform of sports to show people Jesus. He had a huge impact on many in this community as he taught ... thousands, of young people to swim and also served in many capacities at church."[4]

Bishop died at the age of eighty-two in Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. His services were conducted by his former pastor, James Edward Jones of Campbellsville. Bishop is interred at Campbellsville Memorial Gardens.[5]   


  1. Donald H. Bishop. Retrieved on December 30, 2017.
  2. Jordan Alves, "Don Bishop dies at 82: Leaves lasting mark on CU, The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni & Friends of Campbellsville University, Vol. 16 (Spring 2018), p. 21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Donald Hall "Don" Bishop. Retrieved on December 30, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Don Bishop, long-time Athletics Director, passes away at age of 82. Retrieved on December 29, 2017.
  5. Donald Hall Bishop obituary. Central Kentucky News Journal. Retrieved on January 4, 2018.