Someone You Should Know: Leading “The Link”

Bill Earley had an interesting journey to be the first ever executive director of The Link in Sioux Falls.
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 9:21 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Bill Earley is the first ever Executive Director of The Link, which opened on June 1st.

“So The Link is a community triage center. It’s very novel in it’s approach. And really what we do there is treat people who have any kind of mental or behavioral health crisis, who are in need of sobering services, or withdrawal management,” said Bill.

For Earley, it’s been in interesting journey to Sioux Falls. The San Diego, California native, who became an attorney, also worked as a sportscaster. Doing radio play-by-play for San Diego State University athletics, along with some television work.

“I think there’s a natural combination between being a lawyer, and being a litigator, and being a broadcaster. Because you are having to think on your feet. And your’e having to describe what’s going on in front of you. And oral communication skills are really key as a lawyer, and as a broadcaster,” said Bill.

His voice was a familiar one in the San Diego area.

“So myself and two other friends, we developed a comedy radio show. It was called “Bring It On.” It was about sports, politics, and whatever else,” said Bill.

The huge Padres baseball fan, got to know Hall of Famer Tony Gywnn, who was San Diego State’s baseball coach at the time. Soon though it was time to make a change away from the mic.

“The broadcasting was great. I loved it. You know, if I had an opportunity to do it again, I’d probably do it. However, time, when you get married and have a child, you have to have your priorities in order,” said Bill.

After going into other areas, which included time working in the legal department for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, Bill and his family, decided to move from southern California. They picked a number communities across the country for a possible move. Sioux Falls was on that list.

“When we came to Sioux Falls, my wife was the first one to say this is the place. And with roots here in South Dakota. My grandfather came from Lemmon, South Dakota, and my other grandparents from just over the border in Mankato and Owatona in Minnesota. I said done, lets do it,” said Bill.

While technically retired when they arrived in 2019, after meeting people in the community including mayor Paul TenHaken. The Link, and it’s mission intrigued him, since it hits close to home.

“It’s personal. My mother, whom I loved, she’s gone now. She struggled through her life with alcohol addiction. And so just understanding that we could actually make life better for some of those individuals who are suffering from that disease, as well as their loved ones. I felt I was in a unique position to understand at some level what those folks are going through,” said Bill.

The Link is Bill’s professional focus, and he’s still involved in sports.

“I’m coaching my daughter’s third grade basketball team. That is a blast of epic proportion, I’m loving that more than anything right now,” said. Bill.

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