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Legendary Tigerbelles coach Ed Temple dies at 89


INDIANAPOLIS -- USATF mourns the loss of legendary Tennessee State Tigerbelles and Olympic coach Ed Temple, who passed just two days after his 89th birthday.


Temple was honored as the inaugural USATF Legend Coach Award recipient in 2014 at the USATF Outdoor Championships. He was twice the head coach of the U.S. Olympic Team and was the man who led and inspired the Tennessee State University women’s track & field program for 44 years before retiring after the 1993-94 academic year. Temple almost singlehandedly led the rise of African-American women in the sport as the coach of Hall of Fame athletes including Olympic champions Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus, Madeline Manning, Mae Faggs and Edith McGuire, as well as Martha Watson, Willye White and Chandra Cheeseborough among many others.


“We are all saddened to learn of the passing of the incomparable Ed Temple,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “Coach Temple’s impact on the sport of track & field is immeasurable. Not only was he a tremendous leader in the sport, he was an early champion for gender and racial equality in our country. The sport and our country is forever changed because of Ed Temple.”


Temple coached 23 Olympic medalists, 30 Pan-American Games medalists, as well as eight National Track & Field Hall of Fame inductees. His commitment was true not only to the athletic accomplishments of those he coached, but also to the value of education, which is evident in the fact that 39 of his 40 Olympians have one or more college degrees.


The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native was also a great athlete in his own right. He earned All-City honors in track, football and basketball at John Harris High School before moving on to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in Health and Physical Education from Tennessee Agricultural and Mechanical State College, where he also minored in Sociology.


Among his many honors are inductions into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Helms Hall of Fame, the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, the Harrisburg Central Area Chapter Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame and the Communiplex National Sports Hall of Fame.

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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