Bill was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. He attended Columbus High School, where he competed in track, basketball and football. Bill earned All-State Honors as receiver before graduating in 1969.
Bill was highly recruited by many major universities, but decided on Ole Miss, where he played wide receiver, catching passes from football legend Archie Manning.
Following graduation from Ole Miss, Bill returned to Columbus, where he worked for the family boat dealership, Leon Jordan Marine.
In 1983, Bill started Spartan Archery Products in the back of the family boat business. The company developed and manufactured a variety of archery clothing and accessories in the basic woodland and WWII camouflage patterns popular in that period.
At this same time, Bill began designing and developing what would become Realtree, the world’s most effective camouflage pattern, which he introduced at the 1986 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show.
In the late ‘80s, Bill introduced the first Team Realtree logo to make sure readers knew which camo they were seeing in the pages of magazines. Today Team Realtree can be found on hundreds of products and even Daytona 500 champion Kevin Harvick’s race car.
In 1992, the “Realtree Outdoors” television show began airing nationally on what was then TNN.
By the mid ‘90s, Realtree became a sponsor of Richard Childress Racing’s #31 car, driven by Mike Skinner, which lead in later years to associate sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt’s #3, Kevin Harvick’s #29 and several other car sponsorships and merchandise deals.
In 1999, Bill founded Immersion Graphics Corporation, which utilizes a hydro-graphic film process to apply camouflage and other decorative patterns to a variety of hard goods such as ATV, bows and guns.
Sports have always been important to Bill, and his achievements have earned him several recognitions. In 2005, Bill was inducted into the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding athletic achievements at Columbus High School and the University of Mississippi. In 2012, he was inducted into the University of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements both on and off the field. Also in 2012, the Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame honored Bill with its Distinguished American Award, which is presented to individuals who have carried the lessons learned on the football field into a life of service in the community and business.
Bill resides in Columbus with his family – wife, Shannon, and three children, Tyler, Graycen and Colton.
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