Dr. Dick Naylor retired in 2005 after nearly 40 years with Hanover's athletic program. A fixture on campus since 1966, he served the institution as head baseball and cross country coach, assistant men's basketball coach, men's athletic director, chair of the physical education department and, during his first 20 years at Hanover, athletic trainer for all sports teams.
Naylor served the longest tenure of any coach in Hanover history, leading the baseball team to a 791-577 record after taking over the program in 1970. His 791 baseball victories mark the most wins in any sport at Hanover. Under his leadership, the Panthers captured four conference championships, including the inaugural Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference title in 1988. He earned conference Coach of the Year honors five times during his career.
But Naylor's contribution at Hanover was much wider than just baseball. He served as Hanover's men's cross country coach for 24 years (1966-1989), including a 10-year stint as a board member for the NAIA Cross Country Association with two years as the organization's president.
Naylor guided Hanover's men's harriers to four consecutive trips to the NAIA national championships in the mid-1970s. His Panthers finished 40th in 1974, 30th in 1975, 31st in 1976 and 33rd in 1977. Naylor sent two individuals to the national meet in 1978 and also sent runners to the 1983, 1986 and 1987 national finals. His 1974 squad won Hoosier-Buckeye Collegiate Conference and Little State championships, while his 1975 and 1977 teams captured HBCC crowns.
Naylor was named the NAIA District 21 cross country coach of the year in 1973, 1975 and 1976. He was the Hoosier-Buckeye Conference coach of the year in 1974 and 1975.
In addition to his head coaching contributions in baseball and cross country, Naylor served as a valuable assistant in basketball as well as athletic administration.
As an assistant coach for the men's basketball team for 12 years, Naylor was a part of six conference championship teams and four national tournament participants. He helped lead the Panthers to Hoosier Collegiate Conference titles in 1968-69 (22-4) and 1969-70 (22-6). While Naylor was on the bench, Hanover also registered back-to-back HBCC crowns in the 1973-74 (29-4) and 1974-75 (19-7) seasons and the 1976-77 (19-10) and 1977-78 (19-12) campaigns. The 1967-68, 1969-70, 1972-73 and 1973-74 teams all earned a slot in the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. The 1973-74 squad posted the most wins in school history (29) and had a then school-record .878 winning percentage.
Naylor followed John R. Collier as men's athletic director, serving in the capacity from 1991 to 1998. During that span, he assisted the college's transition from the NAIA into the NCAA and Hanover's construction of the state-of-the-art Horner Health and Recreation Center. Under Naylor, the men's athletic program captured conference titles in men's basketball (1995-96) and football (1994, 1995 and 1997) with a combined four berths in the NCAA Div. III playoffs. The men's program also produced eight league Players of the Year.
Naylor was enshrined in the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1992. He was later inducted into the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996.