Born: September 20, 1895 – Willow Springs, Missouri
Died: November 1, 1990s - Manhattan, Kansas
Graduated: Clay Center (NE) H.S., 1912; Doane College, 1919
Known world–wide for his reputation as a track and field coach, Ward H. Haylett, Sr. was respected for his knowledge and teaching of the sport. Haylett was the first track and field coach at Kansas State University and spent 35 years there (1928-1963) as well as three years as the school’s head football coach (1942-1944). Haylett participated in the first 40 Big-Six, Big-Seven and Big-Eight Conference track and field championships as a coach, meet manager or referee.
A graduate of Doane (NE) College where he won 16 letters, Haylett went on to coach five years at Clay Center (NE) High School and five more at Doane before coming to Kansas State in 1928. He was the assistant coach for the United States Olympic Team in 1948 and head coach of the 1937 Pan-American team. Three times he was a member of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Committee. He was known for turning unknown, small-school athletes into great college performers. “That’s my pleasure,” he once said, “guiding boys with little or no athletic background to reach their potential.” During his time at K–State, Haylett mentored a powerful track and field program that yielded numerous All–Americans, NCAA Champions and Olympians.
Haylett is a member of four other sport Halls of Fame – Helms Foundation, National Track and Field, Kansas State High School Activities Association and Kansas State University. Three annual track and field meets are named after him.