The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

August 12, 2013

Former Tigers coach leaves lasting legacy

By Mike Wertman mike.wertman@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — LYNDONVILLE - Though not a native, Fred Large, who passed away on Friday following a lengthy illness, left a lasting legacy in his adopted hometown of Lyndonville in the classroom, on the athletic fields, in the gym and in the community.

“Fred was certainly a very enthusiastic and passionate man. “ said Mark Hughes who taught and coached with Large for many years. “He was just a wonderful human being who touched so many people. He left quite a legacy.”

Originally from Pittsburgh, Large came to Lyndonville in the early 1960’s to teach science at the high school. 

A diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Large’s interest in and enthusiasm for sports quickly was felt in the school as he organized the Tigers varsity wrestling program which became a power in both the Genesee Region League and Section V winning a number of league and sectional titles.

“His passion was wrestling and he put his heart and soul into it,” said Hughes.

Large’s success in guiding the Tigers mat fortunes for over two decades earned him induction into the Section V Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005.

He also coached football and girls soccer for many years at Lyndonville.

“When I first came to Lyndonville Fred asked me to help him coach the JV football team that was the beginning of a fast relationship,” said Hughes. “And later we coached girls soccer together for some 15 years.”

“I never witnessed a better teacher than Fred. He was a natural,” said Wes Bradley who also taught and coached with Large for many years. “The way he worked with the kids. He was just a natural. He could work with any kid and the kids just loved him.”

Large was also very active in the community. He served as mayor for several years and every July 4th he played Uncle Sam in the parade during the festivities organized by the Lions Club in which he was very active.

“He loved doing that,” said Hughes. “The kids would come up to him and shake his hand. He just loved it.”

“Fred was a treasure,” said Bradley. “We had a lot of good times together teaching, coaching and painting houses together during the summer and I’m very happy to consider him a dear, dear friend.”

Services for Large will be held at 5 this afternoon in the Stroyan Auditorium at Lyndonville High just a few yards from the gymnasium where he guided the Tigers very successful wrestling program for over two decades.

“Fred was just a real good guy who affected so many people in a positive way,” said Hughes. “He will certainly be remembered in Lyndonville for eternity.”