Larry Haylor, longtime Western football coach, dies

Western University football coach Larry Haylor, who died January 6, 2022 at age 76. Photo courtesy Western University Athletics.

The Western University community is mourning the passing of a longtime football coach and educator.

Larry Haylor, who patrolled the sidelines for the Mustangs from 1984 to 2006, died Thursday after suffering a heart attack earlier this week in Florida.

Haylor’s sudden passing comes days after his predecessor, Darwin Semotiuk, passed away after a long illness.

“We know how much he was loved by all those that had the pleasure to know him, and we know the memories and his legacy will live on,” wrote the Haylor family in a media release. “We take comfort in knowing that he and Darwin are together at this time as they started their journey at Western together, and the families spent many holiday seasons together. Larry will be missed deeply, and we hope the memories we all have of him will help us get through this difficult time.”

Current Mustangs head football coach Greg Marshall said he would not be in that position if it wasn’t for Haylor.

“Larry was always there for me,” said Marshall. “When I had my first serious knee injury in football, he’s the first one to call to tell me everything would be ok. When I decided to retire from pro football, he was the first one to call to ask me to come back to coach with him. When I was fired by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, it was Larry calling to say he’d like me to take over as head coach at Western. Larry was so much more than a successful football coach. He was a caring, giving man that made a positive impact on the young men he coached.”

Western University football coach Larry Haylor, who died January 6, 2022 at age 76. Photo courtesy Western University Athletics.

Western University football coach Larry Haylor, who died January 6, 2022, at age 76. Photo courtesy Western University Athletics.

During his time coaching the Mustangs, Haylor compiled a record of 185 wins, 50 losses, and three draws. He won eight Yates Cup championships, plus Vanier Cup titles in 1989 and 1994.
Haylor also taught at Western in the School of Kinesiology, leading courses on coaching, growth and development, and leadership. After retiring from coaching in 2006, Haylor continued teaching at Western for another five years. He also served as the analyst for Western football radio broadcasts and spent many hours volunteering for the Special Olympics.

A quarterback for the University of Saskatchewan in the late 1960s, Haylor became an assistant coach at Saskatchewan, then Dalhousie, before coming to Western in 1974 as the Mustangs’ offensive coordinator under Semotiuk. Haylor succeeded Semotiuk as head coach in 1984.

Funeral arrangements were not known, but the university said the Haylor family is planning a public celebration of life.