The Hanover College community mourns the passing of former athletic director and longtime baseball coach Richard W. Naylor. He passed away Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, in Madison, Ind.
A fixture on campus from 1966-2005, Naylor served Hanover as head baseball, cross country and golf coach, assistant men's basketball coach, men's athletic director, chair of the physical education department and athletic trainer. He is the namesake for the College's baseball field, which was dedicated Sept. 20, 2014.
Naylor graduated from Brookville (Ind.) High School in 1958 after competing as a member of the baseball and cross country teams, as well as John Collier's basketball squad.
He graduated from Ball State University in 1962. While at Ball State, he was a two-year starter at second base and served as a volunteer basketball coach under Collier at Brookville while completing his student teaching.
His first teaching position was at Sandusky (Ind.) High School, where he coached baseball, track and basketball. He followed with a year as multi-sport coach and athletic director at Burney (Ind.) High School. He also continued his education, earning a master's degree in guidance and counseling at Ball State.
In 1966, Naylor once again teamed with Collier, joining Hanover's physical education staff as assistant basketball, baseball and cross country coach, athletic trainer for all sports, and head golf coach. In 1970, however, he began the longest coaching tenure in Hanover history when he was promoted to head baseball coach.
From 1970-2005, Naylor led Hanover's baseball program to a 791-577 record – the most wins in school history in any sport – with four league championships. He was selected conference coach of the year five times and district coach of the year on five occasions.
He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003, Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996 and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Hall of Fame in 1992. He joined the Hanover Athletic Hall of Fame following his retirement in 2005.
"What I remember most about Dick was his passion for his sport," commented Wayne Perry, longtime Hanover coach, most notably for football and golf. "He lived baseball daily. He was a valued colleague and department leader."
Naylor served as Hanover's men's cross country coach for 24 years (1966-89). He guided his men's team to four consecutive trips to the NAIA national championships in the mid-1970s (1974-77). He sent two athletes to the national meet in 1978 and had individual runners compete at the 1983, 1986 and 1987 finals. His 1974 squad won Hoosier-Buckeye Collegiate Conference and Little State championships, while his 1975 and 1977 teams captured HBCC crowns.
He was named the district coach of the year in 1973, 1975 and 1976. He was the Hoosier-Buckeye Conference coach of the year in 1974 and 1975.
"Coach Naylor was a coach who did a great job of taking care of his athletes on and off the field," stated current Hanover cross country coach Brady Wells ('83). "You could go to him if a problem came up and know that he was going to help. He was a great motivator as he always knew what buttons to push with which guys in order to get the best out of them."
Naylor also served as men's athletic director from 1991-98. During that span, he supervised the College's transition from the NAIA into the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and construction of the Horner Health and Recreation Center.
"Dick also followed you after graduation," added Wells. "I received notes and letters of congratulations from him after winning a couple marathons several years after graduating from Hanover and he would even send newspaper articles about the races to my parents."
In addition to his work on campus, Naylor enjoyed relationships with the international baseball and local communities that spanned more than three decades.
He served on the technical committee for the International University Sports Federation at the World University Championships in Italy (2002), Taiwan (2004), Cuba (2006) and Czechoslovakia (2008).
He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Festival Task Force in 1986 and 1987 and served on the technical commission at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. He was an administrator at the Goodwill Games in Seattle, Wash., in 1990 and an assistant coach for Team USA in the 1980 Korean Friendship Series.
Locally, he was a member of the organizing committee for the Madison Courier's annual 10-kilometer race for more than 30 years. He served the Madison, Ind., park board for 10 years.
He is survived by his wife, Lorna Miller Naylor; daughter, Cheryl Naylor Hartman '85, and her husband, Mel; son, Chris Naylor, and his wife, Lydia; and his sister, Nancy Bodnar, and her husband, Richard. In addition, he had four grandchildren, five nieces, a nephew and many other beloved relatives.