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Edgar A. Diddle, Class of 1921

Edgar Allen Diddle, basketball coach, was born near Gradyville, Kentucky, on March 12, 1895, to John Haskins and Mary Elizabeth (Hughes) Diddle. He was raised on his family's Adair County farm near Gradyville. He attended Centre College in Danville during 1915-17, entered the armed forces, then returned to Centre for a time [Spring and Fall terms 1919]. After coaching briefly at the high school level, Diddle arrived in Bowling Green in 1922, just as what is now Western Kentucky University was becoming a four-year teachers' college. He was initially athletic director and coach of all sports. As the Hilltoppers' men's basketball coach from 1922 to 1964, he compiled a career record of 759 victories and 302 defeats and took his teams to ten OVC championships, eight National Invitational Tournaments, and three National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments.

Diddle was something of a beloved campus character, remembered for his malapropisms and the red towel he waved during games, as well as for his interest in and kindnesses to students and townspeople. The university's 12,000-seat E.A. Diddle Arena, dedicated November 7, 1963, is named in honor of the first man to coach 1,000 basketball games at a single college. Diddle is the fourth winningest coach in division 1, NCAA schools. From the ranks of his first girls' basketball team, Margaret Louise Monin became his wife in 1923; they had two children. Diddle died on January 2, 1970, and was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green.

Source: "Edgar A. Diddle." The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, 1992