Bill Ellington was born in Quinlan, Texas and graduated from high school in Lefors, Texas. He came to Garland in the 1950s and coached the Garland Owls to the city's first state football championship. As a coach, he taught his players more than just the fundamentals of the game. Coach Ellington was a tremendous influence, says one of his former players, fellow Garland Hall of Fame inductee, Bobby Boyd. What he taught me is you need to have the desire to win. Bill was Garland High's head coach from 1950 to 1957, and during his tenure, the Owls climbed from Class A to AAA and compiled an overall record of 64-20-5. The 1954 Garland High team began a string of four straight district championships under Ellington. The 1955 squad was undefeated until the state finals, when Port Neches edged the Owls in the closing moments of action. Garland avenged that last-second loss when the next year, 1956, the Owls won the city's first state crown with a 3-0 victory over Nederland in the AAA title contest. Bill later became a well-known figure throughout college football during a 22-year association with the University of Texas that began in 1959. While he was at Texas, first as an assistant coach under Darrell Royal and later as the school's Athletic Director, the Longhorns won three national grid championships and appeared in 19 bowl games.