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Former Lawrence coach’s hospital stay expected to be limited

Former Lawrence football coach Bill Freeman was moved to a hospital in Fredonia, Kan., on Monday, but the family doesn’t expect him to remain there more than two weeks.

Freeman, 82, who led the Chesty Lions to five Kansas Class 6A football championships (1979, 1984, 1986-87, 1989), has Alzheimer’s disease.

“He’s not in Fredonia for good,” said Freeman’s daughter, Jennifer Nauertc. “He’s only staying for two weeks to get his medication sorted out. We hope to have him back home after that. They’re just trying to get his medicine regulated.”

Freeman had been “sleeping a lot during the day” and “shuffling as he walks,” which increases the risk a patient will fall and suffer a serious injury, Nauertc said.

The family still lives in LeRoy, Kan., where Freeman served as mayor for 21 years and led the local high school to a state football championship. He also coached two state championship teams in Osawatomie Kan., when former NFL quarterback Lynn Dickey was the team’s star.

“I talked to the nursing home today, and they said he’s doing much better,” Nauertc said. “He’s still shuffling when he walks, so that’s the main thing they are working on now.”

Over a 36-year coaching career, which also included stops at Baxter Springs, Kan.; Parker, Kan.; and Nickerson, Kan., Freeman’s teams went 242-81-3 and won eight state titles.

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