Union news office
JACKSON — David Blackstock, Union University’s athletic director for 34 years and women’s basketball coach for 18 years, died Nov. 1 at age 75 after a lengthy illness.
A native of Jackson, Blackstock graduated from Union in 1964 with a degree in health and physical education. He played baseball for the Bulldogs for four years. He became Union’s athletic director in 1973 after completing his doctor of education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Starting in 1981, Blackstock spent 18 seasons at the helm of the women’s basketball program at Union, compiling a 509-89 overall record. He earned his 500th career victory during the 1998-99 season and led the Lady Bulldogs to the 1998 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship.
His tenure as head coach of the women’s basketball team included 12 conference championships, five district crowns, and 10 national tournament appearances in his final 12 years.
“As you look back through life you realize that God specifically put people in your path that totally change your trajectory,” said Mark Campbell, the Lady Bulldogs basketball coach who succeeded Blackstock. “Coach Blackstock is one of those people that God used to transform my family.”
Campbell said he is grateful for the opportunity Blackstock gave him to coach at Union and for the way he made the coaching transition a smooth one.
“His legacy has and will impact my life and the lives of my children,” Campbell said. “What is the most impressive thing to me is that he genuinely loved people, remained humble and served the Lord in this community all his life.”
In addition to women’s baskeball, Blackstock took over the baseball program in 1975 where he, along with co-head coach Linn Stranak, guided the team to a third-place finish in the 1983 NAIA World Series, the only season Union participated in the event.
In the two seasons he coached the women’s softball team, from 2006-2007, the team compiled a 77-36 record with one NAIA Region XI tournament appearance.
Blackstock was enshrined in the NAIA Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame and the Union University Sports Hall of Fame. After retiring as athletic director in 2008, Blackstock stayed on at Union in a part-time capacity in institutional advancement.