by Victoria Gray
UW Athletics Department and Wilfrid Laurier’s athletics department have lost a legend, but his legacy will live on.
Long-time Warrior, mentor and champion of athletics, Chris Triantafilou, passed away on the morning of Oct. 25 after a brief battle with cancer.
Triantafilou, better known as, ‘Greek,’ was a caring, genuine, and passionate person who made everyone around him feel important.
Marshall Bingeman, assistant head coach of UW’s football team said Triantafilou really cared about people, players and staff. He took it upon himself to help raise people to a higher level in every way.
“He was always about being a mentor as well as a coach, always about preparing the student athletes- not just for their role on football field, but for their roles in life,” Bingeman said. “He took a lot of pride seeing them go on to graduate and come back with the families and careers they dreamed about. That was one of his great successes.”
Triantafilou was a coach with the Warriors football program for 19 years and a member of the UW Athletics department for 31 years.
He was an assistant coach with Waterloo from 1987-90, and then in 1991 took over as the Defensive Coordinator where he led a defensive unit and earned a reputation as one of the best Defensive Coordinator’s in the Canada. Triantafilou helped win Waterloo’s first Yates Cup in 1997 and again in 1999.
In 1998, Triantafilou took over as the head coach, a position which he held until 2006.
In 2006, Triantafilou then took over as the facilities manager in Warriors Athletics and worked in that capacity until 2018.
“He’s very much a mentor to those that worked for him as the facilities manager. Guiding them into becoming the best they could be,” Bingeman said.
He also served on a number of OUA committees to help advance interuniversity sport throughout Ontario.
Triantafilou was a defensive back who played with the Laurier Golden Hawks for head coach Tuffy Knight in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
“[I’m going to miss] just being able to talk to him about what’s going on and get his advice and to just sit down and have a beer with him and chat about what’s going on. He had a real love for our football team and program. He always wanted to offer assistance and advice to all of us to make it better,” Bingeman said.
He also volunteered his time with many sport organizations, including assisting in the launch of the Waterloo Region Predators.
Triantafilou is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Condolences for the family and donations to Coach Tri’s Scholarship for Athletic Success will be accepted online at www.laurieralumni.ca/triantafilou, or in person through the Erb and Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo, online at www.erbgood.com or 519-745-8445.