Eight Utah sports figures who are true heroes

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29 2013 10:34 a.m. MST

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Long before Frank Layden made Utah his home, he coached Niagara to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1970, was an assistant coach with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and was general manager of the New Orleans Jazz. He became the head coach in Utah in 1981, replacing Tom Nissalke.

Layden played a key role signing franchise cornerstones John Stockton and Karl Malone. By the time he moved into the team’s front office during the 1988-1989 season, he had previously been awarded the NBA's Coach of the Year and then was honored as the NBA's Executive of the Year.

When Layden retired from the front office late in 1999, Jazz owner Larry Miller didn’t make a new hire, saying that Layden “couldn’t be replaced.”

Layden and his wife Barbara have also made a significant impact on Salt Lake City’s arts scene. An avid theatergoer in New York City and the Beehive State, Layden has served numerous times on the Pioneer Theatre Company’s board of trustees. In 2002, the couple was honored for their significant philanthropy and volunteerism for the company.

Up next: The reason the Jazz remained in Utah
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Salt Lake City, UT

"Heroes"? Maybe. Let's just call them really good people who are worthy to emulate. My definition of "hero" is pretty exclusive...maybe 3 or 4 in the entire world and maybe 7-8 of all-time.

Barney Google
Beaver, UT

Where does all the Bologna go?
In the Hero sandwich.

I only agree with Larry Miller, he made a difference.

Like USAlover said, their really good people.

Bountiful, UT

Steve Young is from the great state of Connecticut. Hands off!

Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

I obviously am a hardcore Utah Utes fan, but I have great respect for Dave Rose's off court accomplishments. He is a coach that all Cougar fans should be very proud to have.

Chandler, AZ

I agree with USAlover. These people are doing good things with their resources but when compared with single parents, our people in the military, good honest God fearing people who do the right thing every day...I wouldn't consider them heroes.

Logan, UT

The article emphasizes sports figure who can be looked up to and emulated. This is opposed to people thinking the likes of Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodriguez, O.J., etc. are our examples. Just because someone can ride a bike, hit a ball, run fast, etc. does not mean their lives should be emulated. Each one of the eight are mentioned because of contributions outside of f their athletic endeavors.

West Jordan, Ut

It is noteworthy when people of wealth use that wealth to benefit others rather than pure self indulgence. But there are lots of people who are not in the limelight because of athletic ability or wealth who use their meager means, time, effort, etc. to serve others and are just as much worthy of admiration and emulation.

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