Legendary East Carolina track and field coach Bill Carson, who also served in numerous capacities within USA Track & Field, passed away in his sleep early Monday morning at his home in Winterville, N.C. Carson was 75.
Carson grew the East Carolina program from and the ground up and in 40 years he produced 70 All-Americans and 40 individual event champions at the IC4A, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) or Conference USA championships.
For USA Track & Field, Carson was a member of the coaching staff for Team USA for the 2004 World Junior Championships. He also served as head coach of the South team at the 1993 United States Olympic Festival and served as the Broad Event Chairman for Sprint Development for USATF from 1991-97.
Carson retired from ECU in 2007 and advanced athletes to NCAA Championships in 18 of his last 19 seasons. He was also named the NCAA District III Coach-of-the-Year in 1988 and Southeast Region Coach-of-the-Year in 2002.
During his tenure Carson coached standout athletes that included Lee McNeill and LaShawn Merritt.
McNeill was a five-time All-America selection at ECU before going on to represent the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, where he competed for Team USA on the 4x100-meter relay team.
Merritt is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 400m and 4x400m and recently won the Olympic Team Trials in the 400m. He also won the World Outdoor title in 2009 and took silver in 2011.