Mustangs Legend Jack Fairs Passes Away at 98

London, ON - The entire Western community is saddened at the news that long-time coach, athlete, teacher, researcher, and friend Jack Fairs passed away last night at the age of 98.

Fairs worked at Western for over half a century and is well known and respected for his extensive contributions in physical education and coaching, particularly in the sport of squash. He retired in 1988 but was never a stranger around campus.

Fairs played and coached many Western teams including football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and squash. Winning national championships in tennis, football and squash.

"Some of my favourite memories are from when we would drive all over the US in team vans where we would get to hear Jack's endless stories and jokes accompanied by the famous sandwiches which Peg (Jack's Wife) made for us." said Chris Hanebury, Head Coach - Men's Squash. "Jack is the reason Western has become the hub for varsity squash and we will do our best to honour him this season and beyond. Rest In Peace, Jack. You lived a truly inspirational life and influenced countless people. Thank you for everything."

Since 1970 Fairs teams have won 31 team titles and 21 singles titles in OUA.

"When I was an assistant coach early on in my career, our coaches' offices were in Thames Hall. Jack's office was right across from mine, and he would come over and see how I was doing and share so many amazing stories with me and they were some of my favourite times," said Greg Marshall, Head Coach - Football. "What a wonderful man, what a great energy and passion he had and I was so fortunate to get to spend so much time with Jack."

Fairs' honors and awards document his commitment to excellence in coaching and in promoting the game of squash. He was named Coach of the Year in the OUA 5 times for Men's Squash, he was also honoured with the 1979 Distinguished Service Award of the Canadian Squash Racquets Association, the 1984 Special Achievement Award of Squash Ontario, the 1986 Distinguished Service Award of Squash Canada for outstanding contributions to the Promotion and Development of Squash in Canada as a Coach as well as the 1991 Sportsman of the Year Award for the City of London.

In recognition of his work, Fairs received various awards including the Dedicated Coaching Service Award of Squash Canada, the 3M Coaching Canada Award and the Canadian Football League (CFL) medallion and Coaching Achievement Certificate. In 1997 NISRA established Lifetime Achievement Award. Jack Fairs was the first recipient. Jack's multi-sport career has already conferred him Hall of Fame recognition. Inductions include W Club Hall of Fame (1991), London Sports Hall of Fame (2002) and Chatham Sports Hall of Fame (2003).  Jack was inducted into the Ontario Squash Hall of Fame in 2005.

As a teacher and coach, Jack Fairs, has few equals. His work has enriched the lives of countless students and athletes.

"Jack Fairs was an incredible supporter of the Western Mustangs. He was an amazing coach, athlete, supporter and mentor. His legacy will live on through the countless lives that he has touched. We are very fortunate and grateful to have had Jack as such an involved member of our Western community. He was a great man and he will be missed." - Christine Stapleton, Director, Western Sport and Recreation. 

We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time. 

Memorial details will be updated when available.

Past Stories on Jack Fairs:




London Sports Hall of Fame, Jack FairsJack Fairs | The London Sports Hall of Fame

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