Former Denison coach, administrator and professor Theodore "Ted" Barclay, 83, died at his home on Friday, January 31, 2014.
Barclay spent 35 years at Denison, retiring in 1997 with the rank of associate professor emeritus. Over that span, he served as the head coach for six different Big Red varsity programs. In 1979, he was appointed director of men's athletics, a post he held for 12 years.
A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Barclay was a 1952 graduate of Ohio State University where he was a member of the swimming team, as well as the soccer and lacrosse clubs. Following his graduation from Ohio State, Barclay spent eight years as a teacher and coach in the Shaker Heights school district near Cleveland. In 1962, he earned his Master of Education degree from Kent State University, and later that year, was hired by Denison as an assistant professor and the head men's swimming coach.
Coinciding with Barclay's appointment in 1962, the college debuted its new natatorium, Gregory Pool. Barclay coached the Denison men's swimming team from the deck of that pool for the next 18 years, leading the Big Red to 10 runner-up finishes at the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship, a sixth-place national finish in 1969, and an eighth-place national finish in 1970. Barclay's history with Denison swimming come full-circle in 2012 when he served as an official for Denison's final meet in Gregory Pool, closing out the 50-year era of swimming and diving in the hallowed facility.
In 1965, three years after joining Denison as swimming coach, Barclay's responsibilities were expanded to include head men's soccer coach. He held that post until 1989. Coach Barclay remains the college's all-time leader in soccer victories, posting a career record of 230-125-38 (.634). In 1985, his North Coast Athletic Conference squad posted a perfect 6-0 conference ledger. His teams also enjoyed a sustained period of success in the late 1970s and into the early '80s as he guided the Big Red to four NCAA Championship Tournament appearances in a span of five seasons. Barclay's teams in 1978, '79, '81 and '82 won a total of 47 matches, and seven of his players earned All-American status.
In the midst of his successes with the swimming and soccer programs, Barclay was named Denison's director of men's athletics in 1979, a post he held until 1991. As the athletic director, Barclay played a significant role in the founding of the North Coast Athletic Conference, and he help guide Denison's transition from separate men's and women's athletic departments into a singular entity in 1991.
Several of Barlcay's notable hires as an athletic director remain at Denison to this day. They include, Gregg Parini, head men's and women's swimming coach; Sara Lee, head women's basketball coach; Peter Burling, head men's and women's tennis coach; and Mike Caravana, head men's lacrosse coach. Denison's current senior associate director of athletics, Lynn Schweizer, began at Denison in 1973 and worked side-by-side with Barclay until his retirement.
In the fall of 1991, Barclay was named the head men's golf coach at DU, a position he had previously held for two seasons between 1985 and 1987. He spent the next 12 years as the head golf coach, with the last five of those seasons coming after his formal retirement from Denison in 1997.
Two years after his appointment as men's golf coach, Denison again turned to Barclay to fill a critical void within the department. In 1993, Barclay was named the head women's soccer coach, and he remained in that position for four seasons. As the head women's soccer coach his teams garnered a record of 48-27-3 (.635). In his first season, Denison won the NCAC Championship, went 16-4-1, and advanced to the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in the program's history. Barclay was honored as the NCAC Women's Soccer Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the season.
After handing off the women's soccer duties to current head coach Gail Murphy in 1997, Barclay continued to coach the men's golf team until 2003. In his 40th and final season as a college coach, the Denison men's golf team recorded the program's best national finish, placing ninth at the NCAA Championships. Barclay earned NCAC Golf Coach of the Year honors that year.
It should also be noted that, in 1965, Barclay served one season as the co-head coach of the men's lacrosse team along with Bill Mason '57. The pair led that squad to an 11-1 record. Barclay also stepped in as the co-head coach of the men's tennis team in 1982, helping lead that program to the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship and an 18th-place national finish.
In 1997, Barclay was inducted into Denison's Varsity D Association Hall of Fame. Denison's current soccer facility, Barclay-Thomsen Field, serves as a tribute to him and his close friend, longtime Denison men's lacrosse coach Tommy Thomsen.
Even in retirement from Denison, Barclay remained a fixture at Big Red sporting events and alumni gatherings. His quick wit, uncanny charm, and sense of humor will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Patricia (Linzell) Barclay; sons and daughters-in-law, Bruce and Dorothy Barclay of North Andover, Massachusetts, Brian and Danielle Barclay of Granville, and Jeff and Beth Barclay of Sunderland, Vermont; and grandchildren Jill, Todd, Caroline, Kendal, Taylor, Owen, Julia, and Livia. He also is survived by sister-in-law Mary Kay Palmer of Columbus, brother-in-law Lewis Linzell and wife Barbara of Columbus, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service celebrating Coach Barclay's life will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 5, at Swasey Chapel on the Denison campus, with Rev. Stephen J. Cramer as celebrant. The family will receive friends at Swasey Chapel from 1 p.m. until the time of the service. Private burial will be in Denison's College Cemetery with military honors provided by the Licking County Veterans Alliance.
Arrangements are in the care of the McPeek-Hoekstra Funeral Home in Granville. Online condolences may be expressed at www.mcpeekhoekstra.com.
Memorial contributions may be made, in Ted Barclay's honor, to Denison University, P.O. Box D, Granville, OH 43023.