As a coach, Len Templar had a way of squeezing every bit of the best our of his athletes. He trained them hard in a way that made them want to do it. Mr Templar leaves an incredible Ballarat sporting legacy and has been remembered as a remarkable man whose training and kindness continues to impact his athletes. The former North Melbourne footballer, Ballarat Football Netball League hall of famer and highly esteemed professional athletics coach died on Friday, December 8, 10 days shy of his 93rd birthday. City of Ballarat chief executive Evan King has paid tribute to "an amazing man, an incredible coach, incredible person and incredible manager" who was like family. Mr King, who trained under Mr Templar for more than 20 years as a sprinter, said his coach had been a great role model and continued to be the most impactful person in his shaping his life. "Not a day goes by that I don't hear Lenny. Even though I won't see him again, I know I will still hear him on a daily basis," Mr King said. "...I see so many athletes looking for the magical answer. I had the magical answer." Mr King said his coach had a great repertoire of sayings that made you feel good, confident and in a way to understand yourself better - training your body and your mind. He said Mr Templar was still reeling these off when they last met this week. Growing up in Donald, one of Mr Templar's earliest football memories was running the boundary for the seniors with Phil O'Brien, who went on to play VFL/AFL with Hawthorn. Mr Templar was recruited as a teenager to Redan in 1950 when working for the State Electricity Commission. He became part of the Lions' 1952 premiers and champions for the Ballarat Football League. "I remember seeing all the bikes leaning against the grandstand at the City Oval, very few players had a car. In 1952 most training nights there were big crowds watching, it was like a league side," Mr Templar told redanfnc.com.au in 2020. "On Grand Final day at the Eastern Oval the crowd was massive, people were sitting on the ground outside the boundary line. It was a hell of a group, a very young and quick side." Mr Templar went on to play football with North Melbourne in the VFL (now AFL), chalking up 60 games from 1954 to 1957. He booted 54 goals, including five goals in a 30-point losing semi-final to Melbourne at the MCG in 1954. Returning to Ballarat, Mr Templar coached Ballarat Swans to two BFL premierships in 15 years as senior coach - a record for the club that still stands (1958-1967, 1970-1972, 1977-1978). It was in his first stint with the Swans that running became Mr Templar's passion. He long had an interest in running ,but it was coaching Ballarat to victory in the 1959 footballers' 4x110 yards relay at Stawell, in which he ran with Bill Candy, Jock Hayes and Rick Winnell, that began what would be a longstanding love affair with Central Park. Mr Templar's athletics coaching career started in the 1960s with the likes of Peter Donovan, who broke the world professional 600 metre record at Stawell in 1962. It was to be in the 1990s that Templar made his biggest impact as a coach - overseeing the careers of Tony Martin, Rod Mathews, Evan King and Peter O'Dwyer. All reached a Stawell Gift final with Mathews claiming the win in 1999. Mr O'Dwyer has become a decorated professional running coach with a number of Stawell Gift winners in his stable, including his daughter Grace. He said Mr Templar had made a profound impact on his coaching, with a unique ability to push people well. "When I first came to Ballarat in 1990 I was looking for an athletics coach. Sean Parnell and Andrew McManus introduced me to Len," Mr O'Dwyer said. "He thought I was a smart guy from WA but saw I had some talent. In my first session he made me run six lots of 300-metre sprints up his hill outside his house in Mount Clear. I was the only person he's ever done that to. He had a way that made you want to do it." Mr O'Dwyer and Mr King said they had felt like part of the Templar family. They were at his house most nights training and also travelling together. In 2019, the Ballarat Gift was named in Mr Templar's honour. For all Mr Templar's remarkable sporting achievements, Mr King said family mattered most. Training his grandson Nathan Hartigan to two mile wins at Stawell was a career highlight. "Even though he was a great sportsman, he was also the greatest pop and great-grandfather," Mr Hartigan said. "Pop had a way that made everyone around him think they were good - probably better than what they really were. "He will be greatly missed." Mr Templar is survived by his beloved wife Dulcie and children Gary, Laurie and Rhonda, six grandchildren 13 great grandchildren.