Collick retiring but longtime coach won’t be far from the field

Bill Collick. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

For years Bill Collick has been studying opponents on the football field.

But with his retirement on June 30, Collick is moving onto new challenges.

After a 42-year coaching career, Collick has something else to study.

First he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family. His son Billy Collick has two children — one is four and the other is one.

“I’ve been redefining my baby-sitting skills,” said Bill Collick with a smile after coaching his final game last Saturday in the Blue-Gold senior all-star game.

The 66-year-old Collick is retiring after a coaching career with stops at Delaware State University, Sussex Tech and most recently at his alma mater Cape Henlopen High.

Of course, he’s still going to stay involved in football. How could he not with numerous Collick disciples all throughout the state?

Collick said you’ll see him plenty at Cape games and Delaware State games. The Hornets just hired former player Rod Milstead as their coach a couple of months ago.

Milstead played for Collick at Delaware State before getting drafted into the NFL. Milstead invoked Collick as one of the main reasons he wanted to get into coaching when he was officially hired.

Collick said he will always be available if Milstead needs any advice this year.

Then there’s Collick’s replacement at Cape Henlopen. The Vikings chose J.D. Maull as their next head coach, who like Collick is a Cape Henlopen grad.

Collick said he remembers watching Maull grow up; he lived next door as a kid.

There are even more coaches in the high school ranks. Caesar Rodney’s Dan Candeloro and Seaford’s Dwayne Henry both played for Collick at Delaware State and are now head coaches in the Henlopen Conference.

Both were assistants for Collick on Saturday with the Gold squad.

Collick said while he’s proud of the success many of his former players have gone onto in football, it’s who they are off the field which has touched him the most.

“I like to think I’m a much better human being than a football coach,” Collick said. “The big thing is to watch all those guys with their families and how they take care of them. They’re all doing well.”

Collick said he has always stressed to his players what the game of football can do for their lives and is glad to see how many have taken advantage of that.

“Football is such a vehicle for so many kids and I’ll put my hand up first,” Collick said. “It can get you in the door when you don’t belong in there.”

And in his final game, Collick went out a winner. The Gold defeated the Blue team 24-14 on Saturday.

His last moment as a football coach was his players dumping a water cooler over his head as the final five seconds ran off the clock.
“It’s complete,” Collick said. “We won a game and I feel great about that. You want to go out on top.”

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