The following is the text of an email sent on July 21, 2022.
It was 1959 when Hobie joined Indiana University as varsity diving coach. He would stay with Indiana University for more than 30 years where, in addition to coaching, he served as associate professor in our own Department of Physical Education (now the Department of Kinesiology). But his passions weren’t limited to campus—he coached Olympic diving teams in 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1980, and served as a diving judge in both 1992 and 1996.
Our school has undergone significant changes since it was established more than 75 years ago in its earlier incarnation of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, and Hobie was a mainstay when the school was largely focused on physical education. While the scholarly aims of SPH-B may have changed over time, one thing has remained constant: A standard of excellence. Few people demonstrate excellence more prolifically or elegantly than Hobie Billingsley. (The New York Times does not write about the lives of just anyone.) Excellence begets excellence, and time and time again, Hobie showed what excellent leadership, teaching, and performance is all about.
A loving tribute to Hobie is available at bit.ly/3Om44GY. Such tributes often feel small compared to the honored person’s enormous impact. That is certainly the case here. Hobie lived a life of immeasurable service, faith, curiosity, and achievement that will forever be part of IU’s esteemed history.
Although I was never so fortunate as to meet Hobie myself, on behalf of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, I extend our warmest wishes and deepest condolences to those who feel the loss of this generous and accomplished soul.
David B. Allison, Ph.D.
Dean, Distinguished Professor, Provost Professor