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Larry Uteck
Born:(1952-10-09)October 9, 1952
Thornhill, Ontario
Died:December 25, 2002(2002-12-25) (aged 50)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Career information
CFL statusNational
Position(s)Defensive back
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight186 lb (84 kg)
CollegeColorado
UniversityWilfrid Laurier
CFL Draft2006 / Round: TE
Drafted byToronto Argonauts
Career history
As administrator
1995–2002Saint Mary's Huskies
(Athletic Director)
As coach
1982Saint Mary's Huskies
(Assistant coach)
1983–1997Saint Mary's Huskies
(Head coach)
As player
19741976Toronto Argonauts
1977BC Lions
19781980Montreal Alouettes
1980Ottawa Rough Riders
CFL East All-Star1975, 1976
AwardsCIAU Coach of the Year (1988, 1992)
Honours2x Vanier Cup champion – (2001, 2002)
Career stats
Games played95
Interceptions12
Fumble recoveries1

Larry Uteck CC (October 9, 1952 – December 25, 2002) was a Canadian professional football athlete, university sports administrator, football coach, and municipal politician.

Early life

Born in Thornhill, Ontario of Ukrainian descent, Larry Uteck attended Jesuit-run Brebeuf College School in Toronto, where he was a football star and Athlete of the Year. He then went to the University of Colorado (1970–73) on scholarship, playing with the Colorado Buffaloes, and then Wilfrid Laurier University (1973–74).

Professional career

Following university, Uteck played with the Toronto Argonauts, BC Lions, Ottawa Rough Riders, and Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League and was named Conference All-Star in 1975 and 1976. He served his fellow players as their League Representative in 1976. One of Uteck's inspirations was John Black, his school teacher from Marmora, Ontario.

Coaching career

He coached the intracollege football team at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto for 2 years, winning the Mulock Cup, then joined the sports program at Saint Mary's University in 1982, and became head football coach of the Saint Mary's Huskies in 1983 and continued through 1997, compiling a winning record.[1] He was named AUAA Coach of the Year in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1992. He was named CIAU Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1992. His teams appeared in five Atlantic Bowls and three Vanier Cups. In 1995, he was named interim director of athletics and recreation and was formally appointed director in 1997, a position in which he continued until his death.

Political career

Uteck also worked for the larger Halifax community, notably as deputy mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality, and was a champion of the Halifax Harbour Solutions Project. His deep love for his community took him into municipal politics and he was elected alderman for the City of Halifax, Ward 5. He served two years (1994–95) and was elected to the first Halifax Regional Municipal Council for District 13 (Northwest Arm-South End),[2] where he served from 1995–1999.[3] His quiet, but tenacious and thoughtful leadership saw him elected deputy mayor in 1998. He served with distinction on numerous HRM Committees including the Downtown Business Commission, Neptune Theatre, and the Halifax Port Corporation. His wife, Sue succeeded him as councillor for District 13 in December 1999.[4]

Personal life

Uteck married Sue Maloney in 1989, and they had two children, Luke (whom he named after Black's son) and Cain.

Uteck died on December 25, 2002.[5][6]

Honours

Uteck's remarkable leadership and vision were recognized when he was named a Member of the Order of Canada in October 2002.[7][8] It was one of the few honours he would accept following the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease) in 1997 (one of his teammates on the Montreal Alouettes, Tony Proudfoot, also succumbed to the disease).

The only other honour he would accept was the naming of a Halifax road "Larry Uteck Boulevard" in February 2000, later a tri town road in 2014.[9]

Following his death, and in consideration of his longtime Canadian football career as a professional athlete in the CFL, and coach at Saint Mary's University and as the university's athletic director, it was decided that the Churchill Bowl would be retired, with the Mitchell Bowl taking the place of the Churchill Bowl, and a new championship be named in Uteck's memory. Thus, the Uteck Bowl formally replaced the Atlantic Bowl.[10][11]

His alma mater, Brebeuf College School, honoured him by renaming its sports field the Larry Uteck Memorial Field in 2004.

Uteck was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a builder in 2020.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Enough is enough: St Mary's University football coach Uteck "spread too thin" resigns". The Chronicle Herald. November 28, 1997.
  2. ^ "Taxes top mayor's agenda: women fail to capture single seat". The Chronicle Herald. December 4, 1995.
  3. ^ "Halifax deputy mayor Uteck resigns seat on council". The Chronicle Herald. October 30, 1999.
  4. ^ "Sue Uteck runs away with council seat". The Sunday Herald. December 12, 1999.
  5. ^ "Uteck dies at age 50". The Chronicle Herald. December 26, 2002. Archived from the original on January 14, 2003. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  6. ^ "CFL star shone as university coach". The Globe and Mail. December 26, 2002. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  7. ^ "Uteck inducted into Order of Canada". The Chronicle Herald. October 27, 2002. Archived from the original on November 22, 2003. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  8. ^ "Order of Canada citation". Office of the Governor General. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  9. ^ "Road named after Uteck". The Daily News. Halifax. January 28, 2000.
  10. ^ "Uteck Bowl 'seemed natural' for CIS". The Chronicle Herald. August 28, 2003. Archived from the original on September 4, 2003. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  11. ^ "CIS renames bowl game after Uteck". The Daily News. Halifax. August 28, 2003.
  12. ^ "Canadian Football Hall of Fame unveils 2020 induction class". Canadian Football League. July 16, 2020.