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William "Willie" Tipper  

All Around ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

William (Willie) Tipper was voted by his Aliquippa High School classmates as the Most Likely to Succeed. Already a phenomenal athlete in his underclassman years, Willie lived up to the title. The son of Reverend and Mrs Oliver Tipper, stalwart members of the Bethel Baptist Church, Willie was continuously encouraged to recognize that ‘every good and perfect gift comes from God.’ A halfback on the gridiron, Willie was named high School All American in 1949 and All Beaver County in 1949 and 1950, co-captaining both the football and track teams. Standing 5’-11” and weighing 155 pounds, Willie was a speedster, winning the WPIAL broad jump title and placing second in the 880 yard run at the PIAA state meet. Willie set Beaver County records in both the broad jump and 880 yard runs and lettered twice in Quips basketball. Graduating in January 1951, Willie passed up offers from Penn State and Michigan State to attend Lincoln University, a small predominately black NCAA Division II school in Jefferson City, Missouri; among his classmates was James Frank. Willie excelled at two sports at Lincoln: in football he was All Conference as a running back for two years, and in track was a medalist in the conference championship three different years in both the 880 yard run and the broad jump. He was team captain in both sports and was president of the Varsity L Club. Willie graduated with a degree in secondary education (a major in health and physical education and a minor in social studies), then later earned a master’s degree in community education from Eastern Michigan University. In 1955 Willie moved to Flint, Michigan, to work with the City Recreation Department and the Community Schools as a teacher, director, and administrator for 32 years before his retirement in 1992. Willie was inducted into the Aliquippa Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.