Instructor ‘Rudy’ Hughes dies at 63

By Keith Hernandez

William “Rudy” Hughes, instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, died Oct. 10 due to illness at age 63.

Hughes, who began teaching KNPE 111: Sports, Culture and Society in 2009, has taught more than 2,000 students in five years, said Paul Wright, department chair of Kinesiology and Physical Education.

“Rudy was in the position to expose students from all across the university — even if they weren’t one of our majors — to this field,” Wright said. “He was a great ambassador to our department and to our field.”

Before working at NIU, Hughes coached for nine high school, college and university football teams from 1981 to 1995.

Beyond coaching, Wright called Hughes a “life-long learner,” referring to his attaining a doctorate in psychosocial aspects of kinesiology from Michigan State University in 2010, two decades after receiving his master’s in physical education from Southern Connecticut State University.

“Everything turned into a lecture when he was going into a topic he was passionate about,” Wright said. “We’re going to miss him dearly. He was really an important part of our department.”

A funeral service was held Friday in Lansing, Mich. Donations can be made in his memory to the National Kidney Foundation.