Statue unveiled at Billy Bundrick Softball Complex

By Wesley Harris

When Dr. Billy Bundrick, Louisiana Tech’s legendary team orthopedist, arrived for the unveiling of a statue at the university’s softball complex, it was only fitting that he rode in a helicopter painted Tech Blue.

The longtime Tech benefactor who played football under another legend, Coach Joe Aillet, later served as the team orthopedist from 1973 to 2013. A busy surgeon, he often flew over from Shreveport by helicopter to be available on the sidelines. 

Earlier this year, Tech announced the University’s new softball field would be named in honor of Bundrick. Thanks to a generous donation from the Karl Malone family, a full-size statue of Bundrick was added to the complex Saturday. 

Saturday morning, Tech fans, cheerleaders, band, former athletes, fans, and the Lady Techster Softball team joined the Bundrick and Malone families at the unveiling ceremony of “Dr. Billy’s” statue.

A teary-eyed Karl Malone kept a handkerchief handy as he explained the impact Bundrick had on his life as a young athlete at Tech and during the decades since.

Malone said he felt more comfortable with Bundrick than any other staff member he met on the Tech campus. He praised Bundrick for his impact on his own life as well as what the surgeon did for many athletes and the university.

“He was my hero,” Malone told the crowd during the ceremony.

Bundrick spent more than half of his life taking care of Louisiana Tech’s Bulldogs and Lady Techsters.

In addition to donating countless hours to Louisiana Tech’s student-athletes over a 40-year stretch, Bundrick has also supported Tech financially. He and his wife Linda are members of the Team Tech $1 Million Lifetime Giving Club, an elite membership that includes less than 15 couples who have each given more than $1 million during their lifetime.

“Dr. Bundrick is truly a great man who has made such a positive impact on our student-athletes throughout the years,” President Les Guice said. “The numerous honors he has earned only scratch the surface of his significance to Louisiana Tech; his greatest contribution has been in the service of others. We’re proud to be able to honor him after the many years he spent ensuring our student-athletes stay healthy and able to perform to the best of their abilities.”

Dr. Bundrick was enshrined into the Tech Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the class of 1986. He has earned numerous other honors, including the Louisiana Tech Alumnus of the Year (1980), the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Life Sciences (1986), Centennial 100 Distinguished Alumni (1994) and Tower Medallion recipient (1995). He served as the University Foundation Board President (1981-83) and was a Privileged Director of the Foundation Board (1986-87). He received an honorary doctorate in 1984.

Head Lady Techster Softball Coach Josh Taylor said it was important for the team to meet Dr. Bundrick and understand his legacy and love for the athletic program and the university.

“I told him the girls had been calling the stadium ‘The Billy,’” Taylor said, “but I wanted to make the sure that was okay with him. He said, ‘That sounds great!’”

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