Obituary Listed for William Thomas "Coach" Bill Kerns

By Connect-Bridgeport Staff on August 10, 2018 via

William Thomas “Coach” Bill Kerns, 71, of Bridgeport, entered into Eternal Rest unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. He was born in Clarksburg on September 11, 1946, a son of the late Robert and Marjorie (Newbrough) Kerns.

Coach is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Sue Kerns, and his son Matt Kerns and his wife Natalie of Athens, GA; his grandsons, Nathen “Dutch” Kerns and Tyson “Ty” Kerns, both of Athens, GA; a step-daughter, Melisa Kennedy and her husband Bill of Orlando, FL; and a step-granddaughter Emily Humphrey of Orlando, FL; his sister Beth Clifton and her husband Chuck of Flemington; and several nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Becky Bowen, his brother-in-law Bill Bowen, and nephews Gregory Mills and Jason Bowen.
Coach Kerns graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1964, Greenbrier Military Academy in 1965, and then entered WVU with a full track scholarship. He not only set many University track records, he also served as co-captain of the track team in 1968-69. He also played freshman basketball, was a member and an officer of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and eventually graduated with both a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Education.
Bill was first employed in Berkeley County at Martinsburg High School as a teacher, assistant track coach and basketball coach where he worked with his lifelong friend, Head Coach Bob Hummell. After spending five years (1970 – 1975) at Martinsburg, he was offered the Head Basketball and Track coaching positions in Harrison County at Bridgeport High School. Bill taught and coached at his alma mater for the next 30 years. He was truly enjoying life after retiring from coaching basketball in 1993 and then, teaching in 2005. He loved his school and his players.
While coaching the sport he cherished, basketball, he and his teams’ accomplishments were many. After qualifying for six state tournaments in his last 10 years, Bridgeport finally won the school’s first State Basketball Championship in 1993. Along the way his teams won numerous County, Big 10, Sectional, and Regional Championships. Also, in 1991, his team was the first in Bridgeport history to go undefeated in the regular season at 24-0. Coach Kerns always considered it a privilege to coach at his alma mater, coach the sport he loved so much, and to be able to work with all the great student-athletes through the years from 1970–1993.
He was selected “West Virginia Retired Coach of the Year” in 2016 by the West Virginia Secondary School Coaches Association. He was presented this award at the State Basketball Tournament in Charleston.
Bill will be greatly missed by his soulmate and loving wife, devoted son and his family, compassionate sister, nephews and friends.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Coach Bill’s memory to the Bridgeport High School Boys Basketball Team.

Friends will be received at Burnside Funeral Home, 607 S. Virginia Avenue, Bridgeport, from 1 – 8 p.m. on Sunday, where services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 13, 2018, with Dr. C. Michael Hopkins presiding. Interment will follow in Bridgeport Cemetery.

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