CHILDERSBURG, Ala. – William Edward Kallenbach, known throughout Childersburg as “Coach K,” passed away at his home last Monday, Jan. 29, but his memory and impact will live on forever.
Kallenbach’s funeral service took place on Friday, Feb. 2, at 2:00 pm at Childersburg First Methodist Church, followed by his burial at Greenhill Memorial Gardens.
Coach K’s legacy as a standout athlete, devoted community member, and inspirational coach will be celebrated for years to come.
Born in 1940, Kallenbach excelled at Childersburg High School, earning recognition as a standout football player and a vital member of the 1956 state championship team.
His athletic career continued at the University of Alabama under the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Following his playing days, Bill returned to Childersburg, working at Kimberly Clark and dedicating 42 years to coaching football at his alma mater.
In recognition of his long-lasting impact, the field house at John Cox Stadium was named after him in 1993, and in 2019, Childersburg permanently retired his jersey, #75.
Bill’s commitment extended beyond the field, as he actively served at Childersburg First Methodist Church for many years. His dedication to family, faith, and football shaped the lives of countless young men, solidifying his legacy as a coach and role model.
Here are some of the wonderful words community members have shared about Coach K…
“Coach K was truly a remarkable man. I had the honor of playing football for Coach K in 1982. He was a volunteer coach at Childersburg High School for over 30 years. He was respected by all who played for him. His coaching style was in a way that you never felt belittled. He took great pride in teaching his offensive lineman the proper technique to play their position. He treated everyone with great respect and I will never forget his words of encouragement. Coach was always one of the first men to volunteer his time and money to support our teams. Our community has lost a wonderful person. Coach K’s life was a model for young and not so young men to aspire to.”
—Billy Atkinson, current owner of Atkinson Homes
“People knew him as a Christian man of great character, but the people that played football for him saw even a more solid man on the field. He volunteered many hours of his personal time to the team and taught his knowledge of football. He will be greatly missed.”
—Joe Allen, played for Coach K in 1981, current owner of The Print Shop
“Anytime someone says Coach K, the legendary Duke Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski may come to mind, but not to me. To me, there’s only one Coach K, and that’s Coach William Kallenbach. Coach Kallenbach embodied what it meant to be a man of character and God. He used his platform in the most powerful way possible. He impacted thousands of people in a positive way and was more than a coach. He was a mentor and leader to so many for so long. He always greeted me with “Hello, Coach! How are you doing and how is your beautiful family?” Coach K’s intentional relationship with everyone he met is what stands out to me. He made everyone around him better, and I’ll miss that about him. We should all strive to be like Coach William Kallenbach.”
—Josh Podoris, former Childersburg Head Baseball Coach and Assistant Football Coach, current RadioAlabama Business Development Executive
“Coach Kallenbach was a player’s coach and a teacher of the game of football. He rarely raised his voice but made sure you understood the technique and had mastered that in practice.”
—Ken Storey, Class of 1972, current Business Development Manager at Threaded Fasteners Inc.
“Coach K is one of the finest men I have ever known. When you were with him, you wanted to be good, act right, say and do things the right way. Not because you were intimidated, it was because you had so much respect for him and the way he lived his life. He earned respect from everyone because of the way he lived his life. I had the great pleasure of being on the headsets with him every Friday night from 1993 until probably 2006. I will miss him dearly! I went and visited him three weeks ago when he was getting very weak but even then, he lifted me up. I will miss him! He loved his God, family, Bama and C’burg. Coach K is a legend!”
—Chad Slaten, state championship-winning Childersburg Head Baseball Coach in 2002 and 2007
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Coach K’s memory to Childersburg First Methodist Church or the Childersburg Quarterback Club.