LOS ANGELES -- Elvin C. 'Ducky' Drake, a former UCLA runner who devoted his entire adult life to the Bruin athletic program as a coach and trainer, died of a heart attack, the school said Saturday. He was 85.
Drake complained of chest pains Friday night while preparing to attend a UCLA home basketball game. He was taken to the emergency room at Saint John's Hospital Medical Center in Santa Monica, where he suffered a heart attack. Efforts failed to revive him and he was pronounced dead at 11 p.m.
He is survived by his wife, Rose.
'This is certainly a sad day for UCLA,' said Athletic Director Peter Dalis. 'Ducky has been like a second father to virtually all of our coaches and athletes and was a great man. When someone thinks of UCLA, usually the first person to come to mind is Ducky Drake. His death leaves a great void at UCLA.'
Drake was born in Friend, Neb. and earned three cross-country letters at UCLA before graduating in 1927. He spent the next 60 years coaching, treating or counseling virtually every Bruin coach and athlete.
The school's famed track and field stadium is named for Drake.
After serving as an assistant coach for 20 years, Drake became the head track coach in 1947 and compiled a 107-48-0 meet record. In 1956 his team won UCLA's first NCAA track and field championship.
Drake also served as head athletic trainer from 1942-72. He was especially close to legendary basketball coach John Wooden, serving as team trainer for all of Wooden's 27 years.
Drake, who retired to become trainer emeritus in 1972, still attended home basketball games and traveled with the football team. He was planning to accompany the football team to Dallas Monday for the Cotton Bowl.
Private services for the immediate family are set for Wednesday, Dec. 28. A public memorial service is planned for Jan. 6. The site is pending.