Former Kansas U Athletic Director, and Helmet Advocate, Dies in Bike Crash


Photo by Richard Gwin, courtesy of

Bob Frederick, a former player, basketball coach, and bike helmet advocate at Kansas University who also worked as athletic director for 14 years, died Friday night at the age of 69 as a result of injuries incurred from a bike accident. Frederick hit a pothole, went over the bars, and suffered traumatic head injuries.Frederick, who was widely admired for the foresight that resulted in the university hiring a then unknown Roy Williams to coach the men's basketball team, was a dedicated cyclist. He also taught in KU's Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science in the School of Education, and for two years served as department chair.

Williams had great praise for his former AD in the LW Journal World:

"He had such high standards ethically and morally, and the way he was concerned about the student-athlete it was mind-boggling," Williams added. "He was such a wonderful person, a family man. I don't know where I would be right now I know I would not have been able to enjoy so many unbelievable experiences if not for Bob Frederick. The list of athletic directors who would have hired Roy Williams in 1988 the number of that list is one."

Cycling Deaths Per Year
According to National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration, 725, 629, 665, 732, and 693 cyclists died per year in 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000 respectively. Frederick was wearing a helmet, which greatly reduces the severity of head injuries. He also was involved in bike safety by being an advocate for helmet use and he supported the Kansas and Lawrence Safe Kids coalition.

As fuel prices continue to rise, Americans get more health conscious, and Lance Armstrong keeps winning Tours de France, cycling will only continue to gain in popularity, making city planning and road maintenance vital for public safety. Please take a few minutes and find and support your local bike advocacy program in honor of Bob Frederick.

More on Bike Safety:
Freakonomics on Bike Safety
For Bicylists, There is Safety in Numbers
On Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Bikes on the Sidewalk, and Morons

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