Dale Farley – a true Warrior

By | June 18, 2019 8:43 am

Dale Farley (Photo courtesy of West Virginia University)

Dale Farley, who was a standout athlete as a Warrior football player more than four decades ago and went on to a professional career in the sport he loved so much, has passed away.

Farley, 70, passed away June 13, 2019. Although he had traveled the country while playing professional football, Farley returned to his hometown of Sparta to raise his family.

After helping lead the White County High School Warriors under Coach Dee Harris to a very successful high school career, Farley went on to become an All American linebacker at West Virginia and later played in the pros for the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills.

Farley traveled to Morgantown to continue his football career at West Virginia.  He played for coaches Jim Carlen and Bobby Bowden.  Farley helped West Virginia to become one of the best defenses in the nation.  West Virginia held four opponents to a touchdown or less that season, with Farley helping lead the charge.

In 1969, Farley was a  vital part of the 10-1 record.  To top off that great season, West Virginia beat South Carolina in the Peach Bowl.  One of his former teammates, Randy Flinchum, stated “ Dale was 6’4” and ran a 4.6 forty.  He played center on our intramural basketball team.  He was a tremendous athlete and a really good guy.”

In 1970, Farley was named to the 1st team All-American by the Sporting News.  Farley was also named to the All- East and All- South All Star teams and had the honor of being named to play in the annual all-star game in Mobile, Alabama.  Farley reached a part of his dream to make it into the professional football world when he was selected in the third round of the 1971 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins as the 74th pick overall.  Farley played one season with the Dolphins before being traded to Buffalo.  There he played two years in the NFL.

Farley returned to Sparta after retiring from the National Football League and a short stint in the Canadian Football League.  Farley, a true warrior on and off the field, always supported White County athletics.  Coach Dee Harris commented on Farley as a football player and as a young man.

“Dale was one of the best football players I have ever coached, and his impact was made on offense and defense,” said Harris. “He was very aggressive on the field.”

Harris added that Farley was very coachable and stated, “He was one of the finest boys I ever had.”

Farley entered into eternity on June 13, 2019 at Cookeville Regional Medical Center.  He was born on May 27, 1949, to Haskell and Bessie Williams Farley.  He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Karen Farley, and a son, Brandon Farley, as well as several grandchildren and other family members.

In 2009, Dale Farley was asked to speak at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and he is quoted as saying to the crowd, “I am a child of God.”

In addition to his parents, Dale Farley was preceded in death by his daughter, Brittany.  He will be missed by all in this community.

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