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Lee Evans

Inducted: 1983, athlete

Born: February 25, 1947 - Madera, California

Events
400 m - 43.86


On October 18, 1968, Lee Evans was one of two Americans to set astonishing world records at the Mexico City Olympics. Within an hour of Bob Beamon's titanic achievement in the long jump, Evans became the first person to break 44 seconds in the 400 meters. His world-record time of 43.86 would endure for 20 years. He also ran on the winning 1968 Olympic 4x400m relay team that clocked 2:56.1, once again a time that stood as a world record for 20 years. Evans was undefeated during his track career at Overfelt High School in San Jose, Calif., improving his 440-yard time from 48.2 in 1964 to 46.9 in 1965. He attended San Jose State, where he was coached by Hall of Famer Bud Winter. As a freshman, he won his first AAU championship in 1966 and improved his 400m time to an impressive 45.2. For several years, he was the world's top runner at 400 meters and 440 yards, losing only to fellow Hall of Famer Tommie Smith in 1967. He was AAU champion from 1966 to 1969 and again in 1972. Evans also was the 1967 Pan American Games champion. He finished fourth in the 400 meters at the 1972 Olympic Trials, but was included on the 4x400m relay team. He became a professional in 1973 but was reinstated in 1980. Following his graduation, he served as head cross country and assistant track coach at San Jose State before beginning an international coaching career. Between 1975 and 1997 Evans directed the national track and field programs of Nigeria and Saudi Arabia and trained athletes in 18 other countries. In 1977, he was the sprint coach for the All-African team at the first World Cup and earned coach of the year honors in Nigeria that year. In 2002, Evans joined the coaching staff of the University of Washington, working primarily with the men's and women's sprinters and relay team members.

Records Held
World Record: 400 m - 43.86 (October 18, 1968 - )
World Record: 1,600 m relay - 2:56.10

Championships
1968 Olympics: 400 m - 43.86 (1st)
1968 Olympics: 1,600 m relay (1st)
1966 AAU: 400 m (1st)
1967 AAU: 400 m (1st)
1968 AAU: 400 m (1st)
1969 AAU: 400 m (1st)
1972 Olympic Trials: 400 m (4th)
1967 Pan-Am Games: 400 m (1st)

Education
high school: Overfelt (San Jose, California)
junior college: San Jose CC
undergraduate: San Jose State (San Jose, California), 1970

Occupations
Coach

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