UF Hall of Fame athlete, former High Springs Commissioner Larry Travis dies


Larry Travis, a Gator football player in the early 1960s, later served as a city commissioner for High Springs. He died Tuesday at age 72.

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 4:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 4:45 p.m.

Larry Travis, a member of the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame and a former High Springs city commissioner, died on Tuesday at the age of 72.

Born in Fort Wayne, Ind., Travis played offensive and defensive line for the Gators and lettered in 1960-1962. He earned All-SEC and Academic All-American honors during his playing days. He then launched a career in coaching and athletic administration that began as a member of the UF football staff from 1964-67.

His career in coaching included stops at the University of Kansas, Ole Miss, Louisville and Georgia Tech. He worked in athletic administration at Georgia Tech. He was an assistant athletic director at the U.S. Naval Academy and the athletic director at Kansas State and Western Carolina.

He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 and was active in the Gator F Club, which kept former letter winners involved with the athletic programs.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Larry Travis," the F Club said in a statement released Thursday. "Larry spent much of his life dedicated to serving others through coaching, athletic administration and public office, and he certainly influenced countless people along the way. All of us at UF grieve for Larry's family, teammates and friends."

Travis served on the High Springs City Commission from November 2005 to November 2011. Current Mayor Sue Weller met Travis in 2000 when she was looking to buy a home and eventually became his next-door neighbor in 2004. She said it was Travis who persuaded her to get involved in local government and eventually run for office.

"He was a very kind-hearted individual who loved people, who always made you feel like you were part of his family," Weller said.

Former High Springs Commissioner Eric May often disagreed with Travis on city issues. While the two differed, May said Travis always wanted the best for the city and cared about the residents to the point he would become emotional when deciding on issues such as an increase in water rates.

"You would have this big lineman guy who would have tears well up in his eyes," May said. "He cared about people so much. He really wanted to help them."

Travis is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dorothea Ann Travis; brother, Steven Lynn Travis; sisters Judith Ann Richardson, Melanie Kay Fischel and Barbara Jane Healis; sons Michael Edwin Travis and Scott Edward Travis; daughter, Laura Lee Schwartz; and grandchildren Ashley Suzanne Travis, Coleman Michael Travis, Travis James Schwartz and Matthew Michael Schwartz.

A celebration of life ceremony is scheduled from 3-6 p.m. Saturday at the University of Florida's Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

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