Wednesday Open Thread: Remembering Ed Temple, Tennessee State’s Legendary Track Coach

Mr. Temple passed away at the age of 89. What he did at his HBCU without megafunds is more than impressive. It’s the stuff legends are made of.

Ed Temple with, from left, Carla Mims, Edith McGuire, Vivian Brown and Wyomia Tyus at the women’s Olympic track and field tryouts on Randalls Island in New York City in 1964. Credit Ernie Sisto/The New York Times

From the New York Times:

Ed Temple, Track Coach Who Produced Olympians and National Titles, Dies at 89
SEPT. 23, 2016

Ed Temple, who coached Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus and 38 other Olympians in his 43 seasons as the most celebrated women’s track and field coach in the United States, died on Thursday. He was 89.

A track team spokesman at Tennessee State University, where Temple coached, said Temple’s daughter, Edwina, had confirmed the death. No other details were given.

From 1950 until he retired in 1993, Temple mentored a roster of athletes that few coaches in any sport could rival for speed, power and skill. The 40 Olympians he produced at Tennessee State, a predominantly black college in Nashville, won 13 gold medals, six silver medals and four bronze medals.

In the 1960 Summer Games in Rome, the four women who won the 4×100-meter relay for the United States were Tennessee State runners coached by Temple.

His teams, known as the Tigerbelles, won 34 national titles: 16 indoor, 13 outdoor and 5 junior.

When he started in 1950, right after graduating from Tennessee State, women’s track and field was a minor sport in the United States, and especially at the university, where it faced unending budget constraints.

In his first year, with a shoestring budget of $300 (the equivalent of about $3,000 today), his team participated in just one meet. Years later, scheduled to compete in New York, the team piled into an old DeSoto station wagon and spent 22 hours on the road to get there, stopping only for gas and hamburgers. There was no money for a hotel, even if they could find one on the way that would serve blacks.


Temple himself had little help at first. “I coached, I rubbed down, I was the counselor, I was the parent, I was everything,” he said, “but you had to be because there was no other person there.”

He had no athletic scholarships to offer in his first 18 years as coach. Even Rudolph — “the greatest woman athlete of all time,” Temple said — who won three gold medals in the 1960 Rome Olympics and did more to elevate women’s track in the United States than anyone before her, had to spend two hours a day doing clerical work and sweeping out the gymnasium.

“The people who ran for me ran simply because they loved the sport,” Temple said.

They also ran fast. Besides Rudolph’s three gold medals, Tyus took successive gold medals in the 100-meter dash in 1964 (in Tokyo) and 1968 (in Mexico City). Temple’s track and field stars also included Mae Faggs, Edith McGuire, Madeline Manning Mims, Willye B. White, Martha Watson and Chandra Cheeseborough, who succeeded Temple as the Tennessee State coach.

He had no athletic scholarships to offer in his first 18 years as coach. Even Rudolph — “the greatest woman athlete of all time,” Temple said — who won three gold medals in the 1960 Rome Olympics and did more to elevate women’s track in the United States than anyone before her, had to spend two hours a day doing clerical work and sweeping out the gymnasium.

“The people who ran for me ran simply because they loved the sport,” Temple said.

In 1981, Temple wanted to bring six athletes to the Amateur Athletic Union national indoor championships at Madison Square Garden. Tennessee State could afford only four, but those four — Cheeseborough, Brenda Morehead, Kathy McMillan and Debbie Jones — won the title.

Temple was the head women’s track coach for the United States Olympic teams in 1960 and 1964 and an assistant coach in 1980, when the United States boycotted the Moscow Games. He was the head women’s track coach for the United States teams in the 1959 and 1975 Pan-American Games. He was elected to six halls of fame, including the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.

To Temple, track was more than a sport.

“I would always tell the girls that first, you are young ladies,” he told The Tennessee Tribune in 1995. “Always carry yourself that way. Next, you are a track person. You are using your track in exchange for an education. You are doing this to walk across that stage and receive your degree. Athletics opens up doors for you, but education keeps them open.”

Of his 40 Olympians, 39 graduated with bachelor’s degrees, 28 earned master’s degrees and 8 earned medical degrees or doctorates.

Temple during the dedication of a statue in his honor in Nashville in 2015. Credit Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

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26 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread: Remembering Ed Temple, Tennessee State’s Legendary Track Coach

  1. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    But but but….economic anxiety though….

    Nearly 40% of Donald Trump supporters say minorities have ‘too much’ influence in US
    Sep 28th 2016 10:56AM

    If you believe men and whites have “too little” influence in American society, it’s a key indicator of support for Donald Trump, according to new polling data released Wednesday.

    In fact, it’s almost as good a predictor of Trump support as disapproval of President Barack Obama, the ABC News/Washington Post survey found. The data shows how Trump supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters view race and gender in the U.S.

    Thinking men and whites have too little influence in American society is a key predictor of Trump support, according to WaPo/ABC poll

    The findings come as Trump has sought to capitalize on Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment, after she said half of Trump’s supporters hold racist, sexist, homophobic and Islamaphobic views.

    However, the ABC News/Washington Post data lends some credence to that idea, finding that Trump supporters are more likely than the average American to say women and minorities have “too much” influence in American society.

    • Liza says:

      Certainly no surprise. We are, in fact, experiencing the lasts gasps of white supremacy as demographic shifts are happening and cannot be stopped. But white supremacy is dying hard.

  2. Liza says:

    Well done, Mr. Temple. May you rest in eternal peace.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Team Trump has adultery on its mind
    09/28/16 08:43 AM—UPDATED 09/28/16 09:11 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Towards the end of Monday’s presidential debate, Donald Trump was clearly annoyed by Hillary Clinton’s criticism of his misogyny, but he declared to the audience that he would not say what he wanted to say. “You want to know the truth?” he asked rhetorically, “I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, ‘I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. It’s inappropriate. It’s not nice.’”

    The next morning, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on MSNBC and told a national television audience that the Republican was referring to Bill Clinton’s adultery. It was apparently “inappropriate” to bring this up on Monday night, but not on Tuesday morning.

    Nevertheless, Team Trump seemed quite excited yesterday to generate chatter about the topic Trump “was going to” bring up during the debate. Politico had this report yesterday:

    Hillary Clinton’s decision to stand by her husband and attack former White House intern Monica Lewinsky when news of a sexual relationship between the two broke in 1998 prove that the former secretary of state is “too stupid to be president,” Rudy Giuliani said Monday night.

    The former New York City mayor made the remark, captured on video and posted to Twitter by Elite Daily writer Alexandra Svokos, in response to a question about Clinton’s attack on Trump’s past comments about women.
    Politico had a separate report this morning on the fact that “threats emanated from Trump Tower on Tuesday that the Republican nominee was preparing to name-check Bill Clinton’s mistresses.”

    Some skepticism is probably in order – largely because I find it hard to imagine Democrats getting this lucky.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Trump Seems Unconcerned About Gender Gap
    by Martin Longman
    September 27, 2016 4:03 PM

    I’m not a woman but I do know a few, and they seem to have a common experience with being interrupted by men, particularly in business settings, that they have no reticence about sharing with me. So, watching Trump talk over Clinton repeatedly last night probably triggered a lot of people and made them vastly less inclined to like him

    If that wasn’t bad enough, Trump is still insulting a former Miss Universe, accusing her on Fox & Friends this morning of gaining fifty pounds and being the worst winner in the history of the pageant. Considering that Machado went on to have a very successful career in soap operas and appeared in Playboy ten years after she supposedly “plumped up,” I have a hard time believing Trump is even telling the truth about the extent of her weight gain (not that being truthful would help in this case).

  5. rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: Another Bombshell About the Trump Foundation
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 27, 2016 4:24 PM

    * Lost in all the chatter about the debate, David Fahrenthold dropped yet another bombshell about the Trump Foundation.

    Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has received approximately $2.3 million from companies that owed money to Trump or one of his businesses but were instructed to pay Trump’s tax-exempt foundation instead, according to people familiar with the transactions.

    In cases where he diverted his own income to his foundation, tax experts said, Trump would still likely be required to pay taxes on the income. Trump has refused to release his personal tax returns. His campaign said he paid income tax on one of the donations, but did not respond to questions about the others.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Singing like a canary:

    Christie aide: Governor knew about Bridgegate scheme at the time
    09/27/16 12:40 PM
    By Steve Benen

    As the “Bridgegate” scandal started to unfold, it wasn’t long before the obvious question emerged: what did New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) know and when did he know it? Of particular interest was a photograph showing Christie alongside two of his top aides, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, at an event on the morning of Sept. 11, 2013.

    The timing and the personnel matter: Wildstein and Baroni were integrally involved in hatching the scheme to cripple Fort Lee, New Jersey, and their plan was underway when they saw Christie that morning. Did the governor’s aides let Christie know what they were up to at the time? This morning, Wildstein testified under oath that they brought the governor up to speed. reported today:

    “Mr. Baroni said, ‘Governor I have to talk to you about something,’” Wildstein recalled.

    “(He said) there’s a tremendous amount of traffic in Fort Lee … and you’ll be pleased to know Mayor (Mark) Sokolich is very frustrated,” Wildstein said.

    Wildstein said that he and Baroni boasted to the governor about not returning Soklolich’s repeated phone calls. Christie responded that he wasn’t surprised Fort Lee’s mayor “wouldn’t be getting his phone calls returned,” Wildstein said.

    As Wildstein put it, the three of them joked about the tactics on the third day of the deliberate scheme.

  7. rikyrah says:

    From BJ:

    Howard Beale IV says:
    September 27, 2016 at 10:49 pm
    From our fellow travelers at Little Green Footballs, a UK citizen muses about Brexit and Trump:

    No matter how many rationalisations are put out there – living through something like i’ve been describing where 90% of the polling was overturned and all the conventional wisdom was thrown out the window – thats a pretty damn scary thing.

    When it comes down to it and you realise your friends and neighbours are willing to sacrifice your countries economic future on a stark yes/no – and they choose to completely tank your economy because they don’t like foreigners, it’s a big fucking deal.
    Trump wants to tank your economy and get elected on the basis people dont like foreigners. I am living through it now and will be living through the consequences of it for decades. Families will be torn apart by what has happened here – good friends may have to leave, people who have made lives here in good faith and with every best will in the world to make the UK a better place.

    So, I will beg indulgence that I don’t want to see that happen anywhere else. One of our tabloids ran a headline just yesterday about how long it would take to deport all EU migrants – not illegal immigrants, genuine EU citizens. It gets very nasty very fast.

    Europeans are being beaten up on the streets – hate crimes are going through the roof, people are openly feeling legitimised in their hatred and bigotry. Once the lid comes off it’s really fucking bad.

    Trump doesn’t even have to win to have that effect on discourse or actions, the open overt racsim is bubbling again at his rallies and on the fringes it’s even worse.

    The UK is looking at a future where an iron curtain comes down and we send people back home, a lot of people back home – we are looking at reducing the number of refugees and migrants from all corners of the globe. Because it couldn’t happen here.

    Friends I have known most of my life may be forced to leave, but it could never happen here. It did and it hurts like hell and its is incredibly raw and incredibly personal. I’m sorry if your offended.

  8. Ametia says:

    FYI. No one won the debate, because there was no debate. It’s shameful what our political system has morphed into. Two older white, rich lying, self-centered, attention-seeking, privileged folks one unscripted , one scripted, were fed to audiences as viable presidential candidates. Please! SMGDH

    • Liza says:

      Well said, Ametia. I did finish watching the Trump and Hillary show yesterday after giving up on watching it in real time. I’m really at a loss for words as the horror of it all has become overwhelming.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning😀, Everyone😄

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