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THIS COACH IS FIRST CLASS
Sarah Pileggi
September 22, 1975
Ted Haydon of the Chicago Track Club takes a backseat to no one as a friend and counselor of athletes
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September 22, 1975

This Coach Is First Class

Ted Haydon of the Chicago Track Club takes a backseat to no one as a friend and counselor of athletes

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Haydon's thick, powerful hands, which have moved a thousand hurdles and paddled a thousand miles, can also manipulate a golf club, cast a fly, play ragtime and paint landscapes in oils. The landscapes are of lakes and woods, particularly the woods surrounding Cable Lake on the peninsula of Upper Michigan where Ted and Golde spend occasional weeks in the summer. At the center of each picture there is usually a little log cabin, painted red, with a clothesline to one side. In front of the cabin on the water's edge is a dock, and overhead are small gray-white clouds. Haydon's brother Harold, an artist and art critic for the Chicago Sun-limes, says Ted is improving—that his clouds look less like little gray automobiles scooting across the sky than they used to.

At Cable Lake relaxation is painting and fishing. At home in Chicago it is playing the piano and getting in a few holes of golf now and then or, more accurately, thinking about getting in a few holes of golf now and then. Haydon's golf clubs and a handcart are moved from the basement of his house into the trunk of his car in March each year, about the same time the team moves out of the Fieldhouse and onto Stagg Field. Some years the golf clubs stay untouched in the trunk until fall.

"Fall is nice in Chicago," says Haydon. "Sometimes, when all that's going on is cross-country, I can finish up my morning classes and go out and play a little golf. Twelve holes maybe, and then I go have coffee and a hot dog and talk to people."

Haydon fully intends to retire, sometime. "The last thing I want is to drop dead out there," he says, waving in the general direction of Stagg Field from a booth in the back of a restaurant that is one of his "joints." "However," he says, over the pot roast special, "if my freshman quarter-miler who ran 48.6 suddenly runs 45.8 I might decide it would be fun to stay around another year."

On Ellis Avenue, near the corner of 56th Street on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park, there is a bronze sculpture by Henry Moore called Nuclear Energy. It marks the place where Enrico Fermi and his colleagues in 1942 achieved the first self-sustaining chain reaction, and thereby changed the world.

A couple of blocks west on 56th Street is Stagg Field with its all-weather track and gray wooden grandstand. The field is enclosed with a high chain-link fence, but the gate in the fence is open, which is Ted Haydon's way of saying there's more than one way to change the world.

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