Billy Hardman '81 Inducted into Athletic Hall of Fame

Classic Quaker Known as 'Big Bird', 'Daddy Long Legs' Is 12th Soccer Player So Honored

November 3, 2009

Head soccer coach Bud Lewis appreciated Bill Hardman's "special, pure spirit" as much as his excellent defending skills and ability to get the ball to top scorers Steve Spirk '82 and Imad El-Macharrafie '81, which resulted in WC getting its first-ever national tournament experience in 1979.

"He was so thoughtful and very caring about his teammates," Lewis said. "Bill's one of my all-time favorite players."

Hardman became the 12th WC men's soccer player inducted into Wilmington College's Hall of Fame during ceremonies Oct. 17 as part of WC's Homecoming.

Lewis said Hardman was an "immediate impact player" and four-year starter in the midfield — and in 1979 and 1980 was the team's only captain.

"Billy was the player that kept everyone together," Lewis added. "He was among the finest to wear the green and white."

Hardman's mother, Barbara, also spoke of her son from what she described as an "unbiased" perspective.

"His role as a midfielder was to get the ball to the forwards so they could score," she said, noting that Bill's affiliation with soccer continues all these years later. "Now, at 50, Bill is still playing midfielder and getting the ball to forwards so they can score."

Hardman was an All-America selection in 1980.

"It is an honor to be part of the Bud Lewis dynasty," Hardman said.