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'He was part of the campus': Longtime UT associate AD 'Big Larry' Falk dies at 58

Falk was 58.

A Texas football helmet lays on the field after the Orange-White spring game on April 24. On Thursday, former UT associate athletics director Larry Falk, a fixture around UT sporting events for the better part of three decades, died.
  • Falk was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2013
  • Falk was 58.
  • Falk died in his sleep.
  • Falk accompanied Texas teams to 22 bowl games, including the 2005 national title win over USC and was also on hand for 10 trips to the College World Series.

Longtime Texas athletics administrator Larry Falk, a fixture at UT sporting events for the better part of 30 years, died Thursday morning in his sleep, according to a family friend. He was 58.

Falk, known for his gregarious personality and his large frame — earning him the nickname “Big Larry” on campus — was hired in 1981 and served as a student manager for the football team before going on to become the equipment manager.

After a decade with the football team, he was promoted to operations manager of the facilities department before he settled in as the assistant athletics director for operations in 2007, a position he held for eight years until he retired in 2014. He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 2013.

Falk could often be spotted tooling between campus athletic facilities on his golf cart with his huge key ring dangling.

“He was always at work,” former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Thursday. “He was the first guy there every morning and the last guy to leave at night. He had a key to everything. He knew more about what was going on than anybody on staff because he talked to everybody — players, coaches and administrators. He loved everybody.”

Former Texas football and track star Eric Metcalf said he spoke with Falk last week before Falk had entered the hospital for a foot procedure.

“We were really close,” Metcalf said Thursday. “The university was like Larry’s kid. He was part of the campus and the whole program. It was his life."

When Metcalf signed an athletic scholarship to play football and run track at Texas in the mid-1980s out of Arlington, Va., he struck up a friendship with Big Larry.

“He did whatever he could to help people out, especially players like me,” Metcalf said. “He really took me in as a teenage kid from out of state when I moved to Austin. He made me feel at home. We stayed close over the years."

Falk accompanied Texas teams to 22 bowl games, including the 2005 national title win over USC and was also on hand for 10 trips to the College World Series. He was the tournament director for many regional and super regional baseball tournaments at Disch-Falk Field and a longtime assistant director for the Texas Relays.

Falk battled health problems in retirement but always maintained a cheerful disposition. He was single with no children.

Funeral services are pending.