Cougar Hall of Famer Bill Gaskins Passes Away at 76
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State Athletics Hall of Fame defensive back Bill Gaskins, a 1965 All-American and member of the famed 1965 Cardiac Kids, passed away Thursday in Pullman. Gaskins was 76.
"Bill Gaskins was a great Cougar," said WSU Director of Athletic Pat Chun. "An All-American and Cougar Hall of Famer for his accomplishments on the playing field, those paled in comparison to his work after, where he impacted countless lives as an instructor, mentor and friend at the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pullman Regional Hospital. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
A 1962 graduate of Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Gaskins arrived in Pullman later that fall and with the exception of some professional football in Canada, spent the majority of his life on the Palouse.
Gaskins was a member of Jim Sutherland's final WSU team in 1963 and then played his last two seasons for Bert Clark. Gaskins played safety while at the same time saw duty as a kick return specialist and occasionally as a running back. He picked off five passes as a senior, the second most ever by a Cougar, and finished his career with seven in an era when teams played fewer games and threw less.
Gaskins was recognized for his senior-season exploits by being named to the United Press International and Newspaper Enterprise Association All-America second teams, along with All-West Coast honors by Associated Press and the Pacific-8 Conference coaches. He also was honored with the WSU Bohler Award, given annually to a member of the Cougar team who exhibits the inspiration of former athletic leader J. Fred Bohler.
Following his Cougar playing career, Gaskins, who was inducted into the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990, spent two years with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League before returning to Pullman to pursue his pharmacy career.
Gaskins graduated from the WSU College of Pharmacy in 1969 and spent 43 years as the director of pharmacy at Pullman Regional Hospital. Additionally, he served as a clinical pharmacy instructor at Washington State University and in 2019, was the first recipient of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences R. Keith Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the Pullman community, he served the American Cancer Society, Pullman Presbyterian Church and on the Pullman City Council. For 17 years Gaskins was also a Pac-10 Conference football official for and served as the starter for WSU track events for many years.
Gaskins is survived by his wife, Felicia, two children and five grandchildren.