Central Washington University Athletic Director Jack Bishop will be among four new inductees into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies March 22 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“This is certainly the greatest award I’ve received and I’m very excited about it,” Bishop said. “I spent a lot of time in Utah, 32 years coaching high school and at the [Southern Utah] university in several different roles.”
From 1969-76, Bishop was one of Utah’s most successful high school football, wrestling, and track coaches. His Cedar [City, Utah] High School (CHS) football team was regional champion in 1976. He coached two CHS teams to state track titles and won one state wrestling championship at Heber City’s Wasatch High. Bishop also coached at Hurricane and Panguitch high schools.
“I was also heavily involved as an official in wrestling, but I also officiated [junior varsity] basketball,” Bishop noted, adding with a laugh, “I was a little trimmer then.”
Bishop is the winningest football coach in history at his alma mater, Southern Utah University (SUU), and served as the school’s athletic director. He led the progression of the school’s athletic program from NAIA to NCAA Division II status, and then to SUU’s present classification at the NCAA Division I-Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level. In addition, he was a driving force behind construction of SUU’s 5,300 seat Centrum Arena.
While at SUU, Bishop was also heavily involved in the initial development of the Utah Summer Games, which is a mock Olympics competition for people of all ages.
“I’ve always been blessed to be around great people,” Bishop said. “Who you’re surrounded by has a lot to do with your success. It’s amazing what a group of people can do when they don’t care who gets the credit. I’ve been lucky to have good players, good coaches, good administrators, and good friends around me.”
Upon his induction, Bishop will join several previously inducted members of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame whom he holds in high esteem.
“As I grew up, my first ‘idol’ in coaching and the person I tried to emulate was [BYU football coach] LaVell Edwards; I always believed in a lot of the things he did,” Bishop said. “I’ve always been a huge Jerry Sloan [former Utah Jazz coach] fan and to think that you’re in the same Hall of Fame is incredible.”
Bishop was a standout athlete in Utah, participated in football and rodeo at both Ricks College and SUU before receiving his Bachelor of Science in zoology there in 1970. In 1980, he completed his Master of Science degree at Utah State.
Still active in rodeo, Bishop, 64, has been married to his wife, Carol, for 41 years. They live in Ellensburg, Washington, and have three children: sons Ryan, 38, and Brock, 27; and daughter Jacqueline.
The Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation was founded in 1967 to help celebrate and preserve the state’s sports heritage. A plaque of each inductee into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame is placed on display in the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.