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Marina's Doyle Dies at 49

High schools: Viking athletic director began career at school in 1982.

April 28, 1999|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Marina High Athletic Director Larry Doyle died of cancer Tuesday. He was 49.

An outspoken opponent of private school teams playing in public school leagues, Doyle was a leader in persuading Orange County principals earlier this year to adopt a Southern Section re-leaguing plan that places 16 Catholic schools in private-school leagues starting in the 1999-2000 school year.

His unflappable style complemented his hands-on approach that included managing a large staff of walk-on coaches. He could often be found operating the scoreboard at Marina freshman football games, as a timer at track meets or serving as announcer for boys' and girls' varsity volleyball matches and basketball games.

He called his final event, the girls' basketball quarterfinal playoff loss to Ventura Buena, on Feb. 27, and made his final public appearance last month at a banquet staged in his honor by the school's faculty.

"Larry was an outstanding teacher, coach, athletic director and parent at Marina High for 17 years," said Marina Principal Carol Osbrink. "Larry Doyle is Marina athletics."

Doyle complained of back pain last summer and doctors eventually found cancerous nodes on his liver. Further tests revealed the cancer was also in his colon.

Marina plans to rename its annual hall of fame ceremonies in Doyle's honor and will create an annual Larry Doyle Memorial Award for the player voted to be the most inspirational, according Mike Thornton, long-time friend of Doyle's and former Marina girls' basketball coach.

Doyle graduated from Magnolia High in 1967 and played football at Redlands, where he was a lineman and team captain on the 1970 Southern California Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship team. He began coaching football as an assistant at Newport Harbor High in 1971 and later was an assistant basketball and baseball coach. He went to Marina in 1982 as an assistant football coach and later was an assistant for girls' basketball, boys' basketball and boys' and girls' track and field. He was appointed boys' athletic director in 1987 and added the girls' athletic director's duties in 1991.

From 1993 to 1998 he was the Huntington Beach Union High School District athletic director, overseeing six high schools. He was a board member of the Orange County Athletic Directors Assn. and served as president of the organization.

Marina softball Coach Shelly Luth has assumed most of Doyle's responsibilities as athletic director until a permanent replacement can be found.

Doyle is survived by daughters Landry, a college sophomore, and Kari, a junior at Marina, as well as three sisters and a brother.

Services are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marina athletic fund.

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Staff writer Mike Terry contributed to this story.

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