INDIANAPOLIS – According to a Gainesville Sun website report, Jimmy Carnes, known as one of the leading figures in the formation of The Athletics Congress/USA, as USA Track & Field was known when it began operations, died of prostate cancer on Saturday. He was 76.
Carnes, who was the track and field coach at the University of Florida for 12 years, served as TAC's first president (1980-1984) and worked closely with executive director Ollan Cassell as the sport moved from amateur to open rules.
Carnes played an instrumental role during TAC's constitutional convention in Dallas during the spring of 1980, where the organization's bylaws were finalized, and he assisted in the formation of TACTRUST, which was the first step towards open track competition. The IAAF later approved TAC's concept of TACTRUST on a global basis. Also during Carnes' presidency, the NCAA, which hadn't participated in track's governance for years due to a feud with the AAU, became a TAC member.
The founder of the Florida Track Club, whose members included Hall of Fame inductees Frank Shorter and Marty Liquori, Carnes later served as the Executive Director of the United States Track Coaches Association and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United States Sports Academy. Carnes was an assistant track and field coach at the 1976 Olympic Games and was head coach in 1980, but did not serve because of the U.S. boycott.
Carnes was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2008 in the Coaches category. He is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter. Memorial services will take place next Saturday, with details announced at a later date.