HOUSTON Dr. Ed Billings, who served as Houston Baptist University s first Director of Athletics from 1966-90, passed away Sunday.

As the first Director of Athletics at HBU, Dr. Billings was a pioneer, current HBU Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci said. What he did with the resources he had was nothing short of remarkable. I knew Dr. Billings well, having worked with him on numerous occasions, and I know that he was very respected both locally and nationally within intercollegiate athletics. Houston Baptist University was blessed by his career here, and he will be greatly missed.

Dr. Billings is truly the founder of HBU athletics as we know it today, HBU head basketball coach and former Director of Athletics Ron Cottrell said. All of us have benefited from what he was able to do and build. He had a passion, not only for athletics, but the university as a whole. He was the kindest, most gentle man you would ever meet, who gave so much to the university.

Billings was a professor and head of the department of health and physical education, as well as serving as AD at HBU. He was instrumental in the school becoming a charter member of the Trans America Athletic Conference, where the Huskies won several conference titles, made the NCAA Basketball Tournament in 1983-84 and made four-straight appearances in the NCAA Men s Golf Championship from 1985-88.

In 2007, Billings received the HBU Letterman s Award and was inducted into the HBU Sports Hall of Honor in 2008.

Billings played basketball and baseball at Wayland Baptist College, graduating in 1952. After serving in the Army, he earned a Master s degree from Baylor University. He then coached at Cisco Junior College for one year, before returning to Wayland Baptist. After being awarded a Fulbright Lecturer Grant in Lahore, West Pakistan, Billings returned to serve two years as athletic director at Wayland Baptist, then earned his doctorate degree from Indiana University in 1969.

He married LaVaye Roye in 1952 and they have four children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Born February 6, 1929, in Vernon, Texas, Billings was 84.

Read or Share this story: