The Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame has announced the passing of one of a well-known track and field coach.
Dennis Fairall has died, according to a post on the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page. He was 67.
He was a builder inductee in the track and field category in 2012.
Fairall built one of Canada’s finest track and field programs at the University of Windsor, said the post. He is known as one of the most decorated coaches in the history of Canadian Inter-University Sport.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, friends, fellow coaches, co-workers and athletes,” said WECSHF officials. “Windsor has lost a pioneer in track and field."
In February 2016, the St. Denis Centre Fieldhouse was renamed the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse in his honour.
“Even prior to starting my role as University of Windsor president, I followed and admired the illustrious and decorated career of Dennis Fairall,” said UWindsor president and vice-chancellor Dr. Robert Gordon. “His reputation as a coach, mentor, educator, and genuine leader is legendary.”
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of the legendary Dennis Fairall. The impact he had on our student-athletes, the community, and the entire #LancerFamily was extraordinary. RIP Big Dawg����https://t.co/eNnccH3eMI— Windsor Lancers (@WindsorLancers) November 6, 2020
Fairall was hired to coach the Lancers track and field and cross-country teams in 1985.
At the time of his hall of fame induction, his teams had captured 19 CIS Track and Field Championships and five cross-country Championships for a total of 24 national titles. He was honoured 38 times as the CIS or OUA Coach of the Year in Track and Field and Cross County.
Fairall also served as the head coach for Team Canada at the 1985, 1989, and 1993 Canadian Maccabi Games in Israel and the 1989 World University Games in Duisburg, West Germany.
"His record of accomplishment put the University of Windsor and the Lancers track and field and cross country programs on the map. But that was not what made him special,"said director of athletics Mike Havey. "He was a humble and incredibly effective team builder and collaborator. He positively impacted so many student-athletes and community groups over the years that keeping count was impossible."