Rick Larsen, Washington University in St. Louis’ head athletic trainer and former baseball coach, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, after a six-year battle with cancer. Larsen was 65.
Larsen, a native of Tomah, Wis., spent 39 years as a member of the university’s Department of Athletics, including the past 35 as head athletic trainer. Over the years, Larsen diligently served student-athletes by overseeing the organization, supervision and administration of the university’s sports medicine program.
From 1982-86, Larsen served as head baseball coach, compiling a 113-91-3 record and leading the team to the first two NCAA tournament appearances in school history.
He also spent time in professional sports, serving as the part-time athletic trainer for the St. Louis Cardinals football team from 1982-87, and head athletic trainer for the St. Louis Stampede Arena Football League team from 1995-96.
Larsen graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and earned his master’s in physical education from Syracuse University in 1981.
Away from the field, family was most important in Larsen’s life. He loved spending time with his two grandchildren and enjoyed visiting Wisconsin to visit family and friends, play golf and fish.
Larsen is survived by his wife, Debbie; children, Lindsay Pritchett and Brian Larsen; sister, Cari; and two grandchildren.
Visitation will take place from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Road in Kirkwood. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in Graham Chapel, followed by a reception.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Rick Larsen Sports Medicine Fund at Washington University. Contributions also may be mailed to Washington University in St. Louis, MSC 1202, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, Mo., 63130. Write “Rick Larsen Sports Medicine Fund” on the memo line.