Mike Locke, the winningest coach in the history of the Canal Winchester High School football team, died in his sleep July 27. He was 73.

Mike Locke, the winningest coach in the history of the Canal Winchester High School football team, died in his sleep July 27. He was 73.

From 1967-91, Locke guided the Indians to a 174-73-3 record, seven MSL titles and undefeated seasons in 1971, 1974 and 1975.

Locke also was the boys track and field coach at Canal Winchester from 1967-2003. Under his direction, the Indians won five league titles and two district championships, and had three individuals win state titles.

"Mike Locke was one of the most remarkable people I ever met," Canal Winchester girls track and field coach John Bender said. "He was a tremendous motivator who really cared about all of his kids. He was a great person and a real character who was almost bigger than life. What a smart guy he was. He was a great artist, and he sang and performed music, too."

Locke was elected to the MSL Coaches Hall of Fame in 1993 and entered the Canal Winchester Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.

In 2009, the school's stadium was named Mike Locke Stadium during a ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of Canal Winchester football.

"They broke the mold when they made Mike Locke and a lot of people will miss him," Canal Winchester athletics director and boys basketball coach Kent Riggs said. "Obviously, he had a lot of success here, and he had a good life in Canal Winchester after he retired from teaching (in 2000). When I arrived here in 1984, I coached football with him for three years and I learned a lot from him. The biggest lesson I learned from Mike was seeing that he was a good motivator who made sure the kids enjoyed themselves, but he made sure they knew when it was time to be serious, too. His student-athletes had a lot of fun, but they never beat themselves due to a lack of discipline."