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National Track & Field Hall of Fame

CLEVE ABBOTT COACH (Inducted 1996)

Born December 9, 1894, Yankton, SD. Died April 16, 1955.

One of the pioneer coaches of women's track and field during a four-decade period, Cleve Abbott was the head coach at Tuskegee Institute from 1936 to 1955, a period in which his Golden Tigers won 14 national team outdoor titles, including eight in a row. Among his star athletes were several who have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame -- Alice Coachman, Mildred McDaniel and Nell Jackson. Tuskegee athletes won 49 indoor and outdoor individual titles and a half dozen were on the Olympic team. Coachman won the 1948 Olympic Games high jump title and McDaniel repeated that feat in 1956 with a world-record clearance. Abbott was still coaching Tuskegee when he died. Besides being an outstanding coach, Abbott served on the women's committee of the old National AAU (one of USA Track & Field's predecessors) and twice was on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Committee. He is also a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.


Born March 10, 1904, Mountaindale, N.Y. Died June 11, 1979.

One of the top journalists in the history of track and field, Jesse Abramson was best known as the long-time track and field writer with the now defunct New York Herald Tribune. Abramson covered the 1928 Olympic Games and attended every Olympic Games until 1976, reporting the event with a candidness and accuracy that was a model for fellow journalists. After the newspaper folded in 1966, Abramson directed the U.S. Olympic Invitational indoor meet and served in that capacity until his death. A sports reporter for 56 years, he was the founder and long-time president of the New York Track Writers but he also was a skilled reporter in boxing and college football, receiving numerous awards from all three sports during his career.


Born April 13, 1913, Danville, Ala. Died May 14, 1994.

One of the first high jumpers to use the straddle technique, Dave Albritton had a long career that spanned three decades and numerous titles. He also had a number of similarities with all-time great Jesse Owens. Both were born in Danville, Ala.; both attended East Technical High School in Cleveland; both attended Ohio State University; both competed in the 1936 Olympic Games; and both are members of the Hall of Fame. In 1936, Albritton and Cornelius Johnson (also a Hall of Famer) both cleared 6-9 3/4 to set a world record at the Olympic Trials but Albritton was second to Johnson at the Olympic Games. Albritton won or tied for seven National AAU outdoor titles from 1936 to 1950 and tied for three national collegiate titles. He later became a politician and served in the Ohio House of Representatives.


Born June 26, 1912, Montreal, Quebec.

As Roxy Atkins, she was a top sprinter-hurdler for Canada in the thirties, placing fourth at the 1934 British Empire Games, forerunner of the present Commonwealth Games. She won the 1934 U.S. indoor hurdles title, defeating future Hall of Famer Evelyne Hall Adams. In 1936, she ran for Canada at the Berlin Olympics. After marrying and moving to California following World War II, she became a U.S. citizen. Anderson pioneered women's and age group track and field programs and her activities were later used as a model for national programs.

By the fifties,she was active in the governance of American track and field. She has served on the women's track and field national committee --- first for the AAU, later TAC --- continuously since 1953. In 1958, Andersen co-chaired the women's track and field committee. She's been a staff member for many national teams, including both the U.S. Olympic team (1956) and Pan American Games teams (1971, 1983). Andersen has authored several articles on the sport. Still an active official, Roxy Andersen received the President's Award for years of meritorious service to athletics in 1982.


Born January 23, 1923, Phoenixville, Pa.

The only American to hold the world record in the steeplechase, Horace Ashenfelter achieved that feat at the 1952 Olympic Games, winning in 8:45.4. The victory helped him win the 1952 Sullivan Award that goes annually to the nation's top amateur athlete.

Ashenfelter, or "Nip" as he was nicknamed, attended Penn State University and won the 1949 national collegiate two-mile title before running for the New York A.C. He won National AAU titles at three different distances, claiming a total of eight in all, including three in the steeplechase. He also competed in the 1956 Olympic Games but failed to get past the trial heats. An FBI agent during his competitive days, Ashenfelter later became a salesman. He had a brother, Bill, who also was an Olympic steeplechaser in 1952.


Born April 15, 1957, Shreveport, La.

One of the greatest women's sprinters in track and field history, Evelyn Ashford ranked first in the world four times and was the top ranked American seven times, including four in a row from 1981 to 1984. A competitor at the 1976 Olympic Games while attending UCLA, she also competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Games, winning four gold medals and a silver. One of her best Olympics was in 1984 when she won the 100 and anchored the winning 4 x 100 relay. In 1988, she was second in the 100 and again anchored the winning 4 x 100 relay team.

She was a two-time world record holder in the 100 and also competed in three World Cups and two World Championships. Overall, she was on 15 national teams during the period from 1976 to 1992, a very long career for a sprinter. Her best meet was the 1981 World Cup when she won the 100 and 200 and anchored the second-place 4 x 100 team. She won 19 national titles, including six indoors.


Born August 20, 1914, Union City, N.J. Died February 26, 1986.

Andy Bakjian began his early track experience as a high school coach in Southern California after World War II. An alternate on the U.S. wrestling team selected for the 1940 Olympic Games, Bakjian was knowledgable in several sports. He coached football, baseball and track at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles. Serving at many of the top track and field meets in Southern California, Bakjian established himself as a top official. In 1969, he was named commisioner of track officials for the Southern Pacific Association of the old AAU. He later chaired the national officials committee for The Athletics Congress (as USA Track & Field was then known) from 1980-84. In 1984, he headed the panel that selected the slate of officials for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He also served as chief referee of running events at the Games. Bakjian received many awards during his career, including a President's Award in 1981. USATF's award that goes to an outstanding official each year is named in his honor.


Born July 25, 1904, Carrolton, Ga. Died May 10, 1993.

A head track coach for 33 years, most of it at the University of South Carolina, Weemie "Weems" Baskin also was an outstanding hurdler at Auburn University where he was coached by another Hall of Famer, Wilbur Hutsell.

He retired at South Carolina in 1969 after compiling a record of 90 victories and 47 defeats in dual meet competition. He was a former president of the National Collegiate Track and Field Coaches Association and along with Michigan's Don Canham helped start the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) indoor championships in Detroit. While at Auburn, Baskin won the national collegiate high hurdles title in 1927 and was the National AAU indoor high hurdles champion a year later, also setting several world indoor bests during that period. While coach at Georgia from 1931 to 1938, he helped develop world high hurdles record holder Spec Towns, also a Hall of Famer. Baskin also coached at the University of Mississippi from 1938 to 1943 before going to South Carolina. At one point in his career, he was also a sportswriter in New York.


Born March 29, 1906, Marion Junction, S. D. Died July 9, 1974.

One of the greatest athletes ever produced by the University of Kansas, Jim Bausch starred in track and football, where as a fullback he was nicknamed "Jarring Jim." Bausch started his college career at Wichita State and competed there in football, basketball and track before going to KU.

He won the National AAU pentathlon in 1931 and was sixth in the decathlon but a year later won the AAU decathlon before heading for the Olympics. Competing in only his third 10-eventer, he set a world record while capturing the gold medal. That helped him win the 1932 Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete of the year. Bausch later played pro football, served in World War II and was an insurance salesman. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.


Born August 29, 1946, Jamaica, N.Y.

On October 23, 1968, Bob Beamon made track and field history by setting a world long jump record of 29-2 1/2 that stood for 23 years. He broke the existing world mark by almost two feet and the feat staggered the imagination at the time.

While a student at the University of Texas in El Paso, Beamon was the national collegiate indoor long jump and triple jump champion, indicating his versatility in the horizontal jumps. Before his record leap, he had an excellent 1968 season, winning the National AAU outdoor title and the Olympic Trials. Beamon, who was from Jamaica, N.Y., repeated as National AAU champion in 1969 but competed sporadically after that. An Olympic comeback attempt in 1972 fell short and he became a professional in 1973. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.


Born January 26, 1908, Hardinsburg, Ky. Died March 27, 1990.

Outstanding in track and field as both an athlete and coach, Percy Beard was a world-class hurdler with both Auburn University and the New York A.C. He set a world 120-yard high hurdles record of 14.2 in 1931 and tied the record in 1934.

A seven-time National AAU high hurdles champion, Beard was the silver medalist at the 1932 Olympic Games, finishing second to George Saling after hitting the sixth hurdle. Beard later became an outstanding coach at the University of Florida from 1937 to 1964, using his civil engineering education to become a pioneer in the development of all-weather tracks. While at Auburn, his coach was Wilbur Hutsell, also a Hall of Fame enshrinee.


Born October 28, 1934, New York City.

Jim Beatty is best remembered as the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier indoors with a 3:58.9 performance in February, 1962, at Los Angeles. The performance served as a harbinger of a great year for the diminutive (5-6, 130) former University of North Carolina star. That year, he would set American records in five events during a 16-day stretch in August. Beatty set ARs in the 1500 (Oslo, August 9), mile (Helsinki, August 21), 3000 (Avranches, France, August 15) and both the three mile and 5,000 meters in one race (Turku, Finland, August 24). Beatty became the first American to hold records simultaneously in all events from 1500 to 5,000 meters. That magical year saw Beatty break a total of seven U.S. records and a world record at two miles. Beatty earned the 1962 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. Competing for the Los Angeles Track Club, Beatty made the 1960 Olympic team but failed to advance to the 5,000 final in Rome. In the 1963 Pan American Games, he was second in the 1500. He earned four national titles during his career, winning the mile in 1962 and capturing indoor mile titles from 1961 to 1963. Beatty turned to politics after his running days and served in the North Carolina Legislature but in 1972 failed to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

DR. GREG BELL LONG JUMP (Inducted 1988)

Born November 7, 1930, Terre Haute, Ind.

The world's top long jumper in the 1950s, Greg Bell highlighted an outstanding track and field career by winning the long jump gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games, jumping 25-8 1/4 while a sophomore at Indiana University. However, his longest jump came in 1957 when he won the national collegiate title with a 26-7 effort, a meet record that stood for seven years. That same year, he was voted the Most Outstanding Athlete at the Penn Relays by winning both the 100 yards and the long jump. Bell first came into national prominence in 1955 when he won the first of three National AAU titles. Rated the world's top long jumper three times, Bell wound up with a total of 13 26-foot long jumps, the most by any long jumper in history up to that time. The NCAA long jump champion in both 1956 and 1957, he also placed second in the 1959 Pan American Games and competed in the USA-USSR dual meet the same year. Bell later became a dentist in Logansport, Indiana.

SAM BELL COACH (Inducted 1992)

Born March 7, 1928, Columbus, Mo.

The long-time head track and field coach at Indiana University, Sam Bell has developed a reputation as not only an outstanding track coach but as an excellent meet director. Since taking over at Indiana, he has produced teams that have won 23 men's and four women's Big 10 team titles. On 18 occasions, Bell's teams have placed in the top 10 in NCAA championships. Individually, he has coached more than 90 All-American athletes, including Olympians Bob Kennedy, Jim Spivey, Mark Deady, Sunder Nix, Terry Brahm, Robert Cannon and Albert Robinson. At the same time, he has been meet director or technical director of some of the top meets in the world. He was a U.S. Olympic team assistant coach in 1976 and was the head coach of the 1979 World Cup team. A 1950 graduate of Doane College in Nebraska, Bell entered the college coach ing ranks in 1958 at Oregon State University where his 1961 cross country team won the NCAA title. In 1965, he became the head coach at the University of California and was there four years before moving to Indiana. Bell also has served on numerous AAU and TAC committees and from 1976 to 1980.


Born November 9, 1904, St. Louis, Mo. Died April 25, 1989.

A pioneer in U.S. women's track and field, Delores "Dee" Boeckmann was on the first women's Olympic team in 1928, running in the 800 meters in Amsterdam but failing to reach the finals. She was also the first U.S. Olympic women's coach, taking the team to the 1936 Games in Berlin. A holder of numerous track records from the 50-yard dash to the one mile during the 1920s, Boeckmann was a pioneer for women's participation in other sports as well, particularly basketball. A teacher and government worker, she was with the Red Cross in China during World War II.

TOM BOTTS COACH (Inducted 1983)

Born March 28, 1904, Mexico, Mo.

The coach at the University of Missouri for 26 years, Thomas "Tom " Botts developed the Tigers into one of the powers of the former Big Eight Conference.

During his coaching tenure, his teams won four indoor and four outdoor conference titles. His 1965 cross country team won the national collegiate (NCAA) title and his harriers also claimed a pair of Big Eight titles. Overall, he coached 27 All-American athletes. Botts was a graduate of Westminster College in Missouri, where he was an outstanding hurdler under Brutus Hamilton, also a Hall of Famer. Botts went to Missouri in 1941 as an assistant coach after coaching at Fort Scott (Kansas) Junior College from 1931 to 1941. He became the Tigers' head coach in 1944 and in 1961 was an assistant coach on the U.S. team that toured Europe. In 1970, Botts was the NCAA Coach of the Year and he retired two years later. He is also a member of the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame.


Born May 9, 1939, Laurel, Miss.

Like fellow Hall of Famer Lee Calhoun, Ralph Boston was born in Laurel, Miss., and like Calhoun he became a world record holder and Olympic champion. While attending Tennessee State University in 1960, he seemed to come out of nowhere to win the 1960 national collegiate long jump title. Two months later, he broke Jesse Owens' long-standing world mark with a 26-11 1/4 effort, then won the gold medal at the Olympic Games.

He was silver medalist at the 1964 Olympics and was third in 1968 to collect a set of Olympic medals. In all, he set or tied the world record five times and his last mark of 27-5 was the one Bob Beamon broke at Mexico City. Also was an excellent high jumper and high hurdler, Boston won six-straight National AAU long jump championships outdoors and also had an indoor title. He retired after the 1968 Olympics and entered college administration, also doing some television commentating. Elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985.


Born February 9, 1911, Portland, Ore.

The person who more than anyone else started the nation's jogging craze, Bill Bowerman also was the inventor of the waffle sole for running shoes. In addition, his coaching tenure at the University of Oregon was highlighted by some of the most successful teams in the nation.

During a coaching tenure from 1949 to 1972, Bowerman produced four national collegiate championship teams plus two more that were runnersup. Individually, his athletes set 13 world and 22 American records. Among his 23 Olympic athletes was 1960 gold medalist Otis Davis, who won the 400 and ran on the winning 4 x 400 relay. Besides Davis, his other top athletes reads like a Who's Who in American distance running -- Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, Bill Dellinger, Ken Moore, Wade Bell, the late Steve Prefontaine (also in the Hall of Fame), Steve Savage and Keith Forman. A graduate of Oregon, Bowerman became active with the Nike Shoe Company after retiring from coaching.

DON BRAGG POLE VAULT (Inducted 1996)

Born May 15, 1935, Penns Grove, NJ.

Donald "Don" Bragg was the last of the great pole vaulters to use a steel pole. From 1954 until 1960, he was always world ranked and capped a brilliant career in 1960 by setting a world record of 15-9 1/4 and winning an Olympic gold medal. He set a world indoor record of 15-9 1/2 at Philadelphia in 1959and like Hall of Famer Cornelius Warmerdam vaulted better indoors than oudoors. At 6-3 and 197 pounds, Bragg was one of the largest vaulters in history. He graduated from Villanova University and was nicknamed "Tarzan" because of his size and strength. His goal was to play that role in the movies but that never happened. He won or tied for five AAU title indoors, won another AAU crown outdoors and won the 1955 national collegiate title. He later became a college track coach


Born July 6, 1960, Greenwood, Miss.

In every Olympic Games, there is always an individual who stands out among all others. Among the women competing in track and field at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, that person was Valerie Brisco. A resident of the Los Angeles area, it was only fitting that Brisco should star in 1984. Her accomplishments included gold medals in the 200, 400 and 4 x 400 relay. Her time of 48.83 in the 400 still stands as the American record. Brisco raised her Olympic gold medal total to four when she ran on the winning 4 x 400 relay in the 1988 Games at Seoul. Brisco also had outstanding success at the Pan American Games, twice representing the USA and winning relay gold medals in both 1979 and 1987. She also won a bronze medal at the 1987 World Outdoor Championships in Rome. Much has been written about Michael Johnson's 200-400 doubles but Brisco will always be remembered as the first person to perform the feat in the Olympics.


Born September 17, 1942, Tacoma, Wash.

In whatever area Doris Heritage has embraced in track and field, she has met with exceptional success. A five-time world cross country champion as an athlete, she also is an outstanding distance coach at Seattle Pacific University. She is the first woman member of the Cross Country and Road Running Committee of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), the world's governing body for the sport. Despite her busy schedule, she still runs and in 1988 won the master's national cross country title in Raleigh, North Carolina. Heritage first came into international prominence in 1967 when she won the world cross country championship. She won the next four as well, and overall, represented the U.S. on nine world cross country teams. She was also on two Olympic teams, placing fifth in the 800 meters in 1968. An injury just before the competition forced her to drop out of the 1972 Olympic 1,500. She was second in the 1971 Pan American 800. In all, she won 14 national titles and set a world record for the 3,000 meters in 1971. As a coach, she was an assistant at both the 1984 Olympics and the 1987 Outdoor World Championships.


Born September 28, 1887, Detroit, Mich. Died May 8, 1975.

Whatever Avery Brundage tried was a success and in the area of track and field, he was equally successful as an athlete and administrator. Renowned as the president of the International Olympic Committee from 1952 to 1972, Brundage also was president of the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1929 to 1953. He also served seven terms as president of the National AAU. As an athlete, he was the three-time National AAU champion in the all-around and pentathlon. He represented the U.S. at the 1912 Olympic Games, finishing 22nd in the discus, fifth in the pentathlon and 14th in the decathlon. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Brundage later became a multimillionaire contractor who devoted a large part of his fortune to amateur athletics. He was elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.

JIM BUSH COACH (Inducted 1987)

Born September 15, 1926, Cleveland, Ohio.

One of the most successful college track and field coaches in history, Jim Bush coached some of the world's top athletes during his 20-year tenure at UCLA. During his time with the Bruins, he produced five NCAA championship teams, 21 Olympic team members and a dual meet winning record that was a glittering 152 victories and only 21 losses, an 87.9 winning percentage. In addition, his UCLA teams won seven Pacific-10 Conference titles and were undefeated in 10 dual meet seasons. Highly regarded by his peers, he was twice selected as "Coach of the Year" by the U.S. Track Coaches Association, serving as president of that group in 1972-73. The author of several coaching books, he was the head U.S. track coach at the 1979 Pan American Games. Bush graduated from the University of California in 1951, competing in the 440-yard dash and the high hurdles. His collegiate coaching career started at Fullerton Junior College in 1960. He moved to Occidental College in 1962, serving there three seasons before going to UCLA. After leaving from UCLA in 1984, Bush served as a consultant in various track and running related activities but returned to the collegiate coaching ranks in 1991 when he was named head coach at the University of Southern California.


Born February 23, 1933, Laurel, Miss. Died June 22, 1989.

One of the greatest high hurdlers in history, Lee Calhoun shared something in common with fellow Hall of Famers Ralph Boston and Dr. LeRoy Walker. He was born in the same town as Boston and while a student at North Carolina Central University he was coached by Walker.

In college, he won the 1957 national collegiate high hurdles title and followed with five National AAU titles, three of them outdoors. In 1956, he won the Olympic high hurdles in a record 13.5, then successfully defended his title at Rome in 1960. In both Olympics, he won by slim margins and led U.S. 1-2-3 sweeps. Shortly before the 1960 Olympics, he tied the world record of 13.2 for both yards and meters. After retiring from competition, he became a college track coach at Grambling, Yale and Western Illinois and was an assistant Olympic coach in 1976. Elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990.


Born December 9, 1933, Plainfield, N.J.

When you mention top all-around athletes in our nation's history, certainly the name of Milt Campbell has to be up there with Jim Thorpe, Bob Mathias, Rafer Johnson and Bruce Jenner. Like that quartet, Campbell was an Olympic decathlon champion but track and field wasn't the only sport in which he excelled. He was also outstanding in football and played in the Canadian and National Football Leagues. He was an All-American swimmer while still in high school and was also national class in karate. While still at Plainfield (New Jersey) High School, Campbell first came into world prominence when he competed in the 1952 Olympic Games decathlon, placing second to Mathias. The 1953 national decathlon champion, Campbell later won the Olympic decathlon title in 1956. Also a national champion in the high hurdles, he set a world 120-yard high hurdles record of 13.4 in 1957 and held the world indoor best of 7.0 for the 60-yard high hurdles. Also a member of the Black Athlete's Hall of Fame, Campbell in 1952 was voted the world's greatest high school athlete. After attending Indiana University where he excelled in both track and football, he played pro football with the Cleveland Browns and the Montreal Alouettes. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1992.

HENRY CARR SPRINTS (Inducted 1997)

Born November 27, 1942, Detroit, Mich.

One of the greatest long sprinters in USA track and field history during the early 1960s, Henry Carr was an outstanding high school sprinter in Detroit, Mich., before also starring at Arizona State University. While competing for the Sun Devils, he won or tied for three national titles, and set world records in the 200, 220 and 4 x 440 relay.

It was at the 1964 Olympics, however, where Carr achieved his greatest fame, winning the 200 and anchoring the winning 4 x 400-meters relay. He was top ranked in the world in the 200 in 1963 and 1964. He lowered the world 200 record several times, finally running 20.36 while winning the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. After college, he played professional football for the New York Giants.


Born March 13, 1874, East Roxbury, Mass. Died February 17, 1949.

Versatile in both his athletic and personal life, Ellery Clark was a double gold medalist at the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896. At the Olympic revival in Athens, Clark won both the high jump and long jump. He is still the only person to ever win those events in the same Olympics. A Harvard graduate, Clark was one of the nation's top all-around athletes from 1893 to 1912. In 1897, he won the national all-around championship, the forerunner of today's decathlon. Later that year, Clark suffered torn knee ligaments and was out of action for almost two years. In 1903, at the age of 29, he again came back to win the all-around title. Clark made his second Olympic appearance in 1904 at St. Louis, but bronchitis limited him to a sixth-place finish in the all-around competition. At age 32, he was still winning major meets. He competed as a walker until the age of 56. Clark's professional life was equally varied. He excelled as an author, lawyer, track coach, teacher and Boston city alderman.

ALICE COACHMAN (Davis) HIGH JUMP (Inducted 1975)

Born November 9, 1923, Albany, Ga.

One of those athletes whose competition was restricted by World War II, Alice Coachman nonetheless won 25 national titles, most of them in the high jump where she won consecutive titles from 1939 to 1948.

She achieved her greatest fame in 1948 when she won the Olympic women's high jump title in a meet and American record 5-6 1/8, thus becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She attended both Tuskegee Institute and Albany State in Georgia and after her competitive days became a schoolteacher and coach. At Tuskegee, she was coached by fellow Hall of Famer Cleve Abbott.


Born August 1, 1931, Somerville, Mass.

One of the greatest hammer throwers in track and field history, Harold Connolly was the 1956 Olympic champion who broke the world record in the event seven times, helping place the United States in the forefront of an event that historically had not been one of ther nation's best.

A graduate of Boston College, Connolly won 12 national titles, including nine in the hammer outdoors and three indoors with the 35-pound weight throw. Besides 1956, he also was a member of the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympic teams but it was in 1956 that Connolly grabbed world attention when he met Olga Fikatova, the Olympic women's discus champion from Czechoslovakia. A romance developed and they were married in October 1957. They divorced in 1975 but a son by that marriage, Jim, later became an outstanding decathlon competitor at UCLA. Connolly is now married to the former Pat Winslow, a three-time Olympian. Connolly took up the hammer to strengthen a left arm that was withered at birth and was three inches shorter than the right. He later became a schoolteacher and now works for Special Olympics.


Born November 25, 1904, in New York City. Died February 7, 1964.

One of the greatest field event competitors in women's track and field history, Lillian Copeland was the silver medalist in the discus at the 1928 Olympic Games, the first one in which women took part, then won the gold medal in the same event at the 1932 Games. Copeland dominated the women's weight events during that period, winning nine national titles. In 1926, she won the shot put, discus and javelin and set a meet record in each. She may have had even more titles but during the period from 1928 until 1932 she attended the University of Southern California Law School. In 1926 and 1927, she broke the world and American records for the javelin three times and also was a eight-time national record holder in the shot put. Amazingly quick for a weight thrower, she was a member of a 440-yard relay team that set a national record in 1928. Copeland worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and was a juvenile officer for 24 years.


Born August 17, 1933, Newark, N. J.

An extremely strong runner, Tom Courtney came into national prominence while a student at Fordham University, winning the 1955 national collegiate 880-yard title.

A two-time National AAU champion at 880 yards and once at 440 yards, Courtney was a double gold medal winner at the 1956 Olympics, first taking the 800 in a meet record 1:47.7, then running on the winning 4 x 400-meter relay team. A year later, Courtney set a world 880 record of 1:46.8. He also held world indoor bests for the 600 yard and 880 yard races. His anchor legs also helped give Fordham one of the top 4 x 880 relays in the world during the 1950s.


Born September 20, 1879, Turner, Ore. Died August 3, 1962.

Nicknamed "Maker of Champions," Dean Cromwell was the head coach at the University of Southern California for 39 years, developing a track and field heritage that still exists.

An outstanding athlete at Occidental College at the turn of the 20th century, Cromwell became head coach at USC in 1909, also coaching the football team. As track coach, his teams won 12 national collegiate titles, nine of them in a row. USC athletes during his tenure won 33 national collegiate titles and 38 National A0AU crowns. His pupils also set 14 individual world records plus three more in the relays. He coached 10 Olympic gold medal winners and 36 U.S. Olympic team members. Among his athletes such fellow Hall of Famers Charlie Paddock, Bud Houser, Mel Patton , Vern Wolfe and Frank Wykoff. He retired from coaching in 1948, the same year that he coached the U.S. Olympic team.


Born August 4, 1909, Atlanta, Kan. Died March 10, 1988.

An athlete who survived severe burns on his legs as a youth, Glenn Cunningham was one of the world's top middle distance runners during the 1930s, winning the prestigious Sullivan Award in 1933 as the nation's top amateur athlete.

The national collegiate and AAU champion in 1932, he later placed fourth in the Olympic 1,500. For the next half dozen years, Cunningham earned the nickname "Kansas Ironman" for a series of stellar performances. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Cunningham won two national collegiate titles and eight AAU crowns, five of them in the outdoor one mile-1500. He set a world one mile record of 4:06.8 in 1934 that stood for three years. He was second in the 1936 Olympic 1,500 and two weeks later set an 800 world record of 1:49.7. In 1938, Cunningham ran an indoor one mile of 4:04.4 on an oversized track, a mark well below the outdoor world record. After retiring from running, he became a rancher devoting his time to youth.


Born Jan. 17, 1837, Salisbury, Vt. Died June 30, 1900.

William Curtis was one of three people to help give track and field its start in the United States. Because of his interest in athletics and running, Curtis in 1866 was one of the prime movers in the creation of what is today the New York Athletic Club.

The club officially got underway in 1868 and it held its first meet on November 11 indoors at the Empire City Skating Rink in New York City. One of the first winners in that meet was Curtis, who took the 75-yard dash in 9.0. But that wasn't the only claim to fame for Curtis. In the meet, he wore spiked shoes, the first time they made there appearance on the American track scene although they were in common use in England. He also was a three-time National AAU champion in the hammer throw and earned another title in the 56-pound weight throw. He also was called the "father" of American rowing.


Born June 8, 1943, Troy, Ala.

A four-time competitor at the Summer Olympic Games as a high hurdler, Willie Davenport achieved a unique distinction in 1980 by becoming one of the few athletes to ever compete in both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. That year, Davenport competed in the Winter Olympics as a bobsledder but did not place.

His Olympic credentials on the track, however, were far more impressive. He won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics with a meet record 13.3 and in other Olympic appearances he failed to make the final in 1964, was fourth in 1972 and third in 1976. He competed as late as 1984 and made a bid for the Olympic team but was stopped by injury. He won or shared nine AAU high hurdles titles, five of them indoors. As a collegian, he competed for Southern University in Louisiana. Elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990. After his competitive career, he became an officer in the U.S. Army.


Born September 12, 1934, Wellsburg, W. Va.

Certainly one of the fiercest track and field competitors of all time was Glenn Davis, a many-talented athlete who won three Olympic gold medals besides setting world records in both the flat 440 and 400 hurdles.

Outstanding in the sprints, hurdles or long jump at Ohio State University, Davis broke into world prominence in 1956 when he set a world record at the Olympic Trials. He won the Olympic 400 hurdles gold medal later that year and repeated the feat four years later in Rome. He also won another gold medal at Rome in the 4 x 400-meter relay. Overall, Davis won the national collegiate 440 title in 1958 and was a four-time AAU champion in the intermediate hurdles. One of few athletes to set world records at both the 440 flat and 440 hurdles distances, he won the 1958 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. Coached by Larry Snyder, also a Hall of Famer, Davis later tried professional football but had a short career before becoming a track coach. Elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986.


Born January 5, 1921, Salinas, Calif.

World War II deprived Harold Davis of the international recognition that should have been his. During the early 1940s, Davis rightfully held the title "World's Fastest Human" and two of his coaches during that time were fellow Hall of Famers Bud Winter and Brutus Hamilton.

In 1941, Davis tied Jesse Owens' world 100-meter dash record of 10.2, winning just about every major national sprint title during a four-year period. Three times, he won the AAU 100 title and he was a four-time champion in the AAU 200. While attending the University of California, Davis won the national collegiate 100 and 220 titles in 1942 and 1943. An extremely fast finisher, the 220 was his best distance and the only important race he ever lost came in the 1941 AAU 100 meters when Barney Ewell, another Hall of Fame member, was the victor.

MILDRED (BABE) DIDRIKSEN (Zaharias) ALL-AROUND (Inducted 1974)

Born June 26, 1914, Beaumont, Texas. Died September 27, 1956.

Up to this point, there is little doubt that Babe Didriksen is the top woman athlete of the 20th Century. During a quarter-century period, "The Babe" as she was known, dominated just about every sport she participated in and track and field was no exception.

Already a star basketball player in 1930, she was the star of the 1931 National AAU track meet and by 1932 singlehandedly won the team title. At the 1932 Olympic Games, she was restricted to only three events but won the javelin and 80-meter hurdles and lost the high jump on a technicality although she set a world record. Overall, she won or shared 10 AAU titles in six events and would have added to that impressive record had she not become a professional basketball player. She later turned to golf and her exploits on the links became legend, being named to that sport's Hall of Fame. Named the top woman athlete in the first half of the 20th Century, she was married to wrestling promoter George Zaharias. She was elected to U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983. Her last name is sometimes spelled "Didrikson" but Didriksen is the name on her birth certificate.


Born July 8, 1923, Cleveland, Ohio

They called him "Bones" because of his spindly (5-10, 152 pounds) size but Harrison Dillard was fast, whether sprinting or running the hurdles. He is still the only man to ever win Olympic gold medals in both the sprints (100 meters, 1948) and high hurdles (1952). Overall, he won four Olympic gold medals, also taking two in the 4 x 100 relays in 1948 and 1952.

A graduate of East Tech High School in Cleveland, Ohio (the same school that also produced Hall of Famers Dave Albritton and Jesse Owens), Dillard was inspired by Owens and went to little Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. While there, he won four national collegiate titles in the high and low hurdles. He also took 14 AAU outdoor titles in the high and low hurdles and probably would have had more had not World War II intervened. After winning 82-straight hurdles races, he failed to make the 1948 Olympic team as a hurdler but qualified in the 100 meters instead and won the Olympic gold medal. He finally got his Olympic high hurdles gold medal in 1952. A world record holder in both the high and low hurdles, Dillard won the 1953 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. He now works in public relations.


Born May 16, 1905, Detroit, Mich. Died April 17, 1996

John Kenneth "Ken" Doherty used the skills he developed as an Olympic decathlon competitor to become one of the top track coaches in the world.

In 1928, Doherty won the Olympic Decathlon Trials and although not highly regarded at Amsterdam came up with a third-place finish. A graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, Doherty won a second National AAU decathlon title in 1929, setting an American record. He entered coaching and from 1939 to 1948 was head coach at the University of Michigan, winning nine Big Ten team titles. He moved to the University of Pennsylvania and coached there until 1961, also directing the Penn Relays, the first USA-USSR dual track meet and the Philadelphia Inquirer indoor meet. After retiring from coaching, he continued to write and such books as "Modern Track and Field" and "Track and Field Omnibook" are considered two of the top instructional books ever published. He was also a major contributor to the Hall of Fame Library at Butler University.


Born February 12, 1937, Inglewood, Calif.

On June 29, 1956, Charles Dumas sent a shock through the track and field world when he became the first man to high jump seven feet. His clearance of seven feet and a half inch at the Olympic Trials had broken another of man's barriers. Later that year, he won the Olympic high jump title at Melbourne and in 1960 was sixth in the Rome Olympics. In between, he captured the 1959 Pan American Games high jump gold medal. From 1955 to 1959, Dumas won or shared five-straight national high jump titles, being ranked first in the world twice in that span. In the period 1955 through 1960, he was listed either first or second in the U.S. Rankings. Also an excellent hurdler (he ran 14.1 in 1958), Dumas starred at both Compton Junior College and the University of Southern California. He was still a nationally-ranked competitor as late as 1964 when he was rated sixth in the nation while representing the Southern California Striders. He later became a teacher.

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