Tag Archives: Chandra Cheesborough-Guice

TSU remembers famed alum and most iconic female track and field star, Wilma Rudolph

Kelli Sharpe contributing writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University joined the world in remembering alumna Wilma Glodean Rudolph, the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympiad. She also galvanized the country and made the world take notice as the first African American female to accomplish this feat. 

 Rudolph would have been 79 on Sunday, June 23. But even in death, her legacy lives on. 

“We are so very blessed to have had the great Olympic Champion and former Tigerbelle Wilma Rudolph attend and graduate from Tennessee State University,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Ms. Rudolph’s determination and accomplishments, on and off the track field, continue to inspire young people today. She will always be remembered as a global icon and a trailblazer in her sport as a record-setting gold medalist, and TSU is proud to be a part of Wilma’s amazing history as we celebrate her.” 

Wilma Rudolph (2nd from left top), TSU track and field coach Ed Temple (3rd from left), and Ralph Boston (5th from left), with Tigerbelle members. (TSU archives)

 As a child, Rudolph battled double pneumonia, scarlet fever and polio. Problems with her leg forced her to wear a leg brace. But she overcame her illnesses, and eventually, her disability through intense physical therapy, and her mother’s support. 

 “My doctors told me I would never walk again,” Rudolph said in an interview. “My mother told me I would. I believed my mother.”

 She did way more than walk. In 1958, Rudolph enrolled at then Tennessee A&I and joined the famed Tigerbelles, under legendary track and field coach Ed Temple. 

As a sophomore, Rudolph competed in the U.S. Olympic track and field trials at Abilene Christian University, in Texas, where she set a world record in the 200-meter dash. With that performance, she also qualified for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy, and soon made history. 

Rudolph competed in three events on a cinder track in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico: the 100- and 200-meter sprints, as well as the 4 × 100-meter relay. She won a gold medal in each of the three events, and immediately rose to international fame. 

TSU alumnus Ralph Boston, who won a gold medal in the long jump competition at the 1960 Olympics as well, said he and Rudolph won their medals less than 15 minutes apart. Boston said he still marvels at her perseverance.

“Here’s a person who couldn’t walk, and then becomes at the time the greatest sprinter that ever lived,” Boston said. 

 He said Rudolph had many admirers, including boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was very fond of her. Boston said they met Ali while in Rome, and he stayed in contact with them afterward, even making several stops at TSU to see them on his way to training camp in Miami. Boston fondly recalls the champ mainly wanted to see Rudolph. 

TSU Olympians Ralph Boston and Wilma Rudolph hang out with up and coming boxing legend Muhammad Ali during one of his visits to Tennessee State University. (TSU archives)

 “He had brashness, but he was always very cordial,” Boston said of Ali.

Former Tigerbelle Edith McGuire Duvall said she first met Rudolph right before she went to the Olympics in 1960. She said the accomplishment of Rudolph, and the other track and field TSU Tigers, was inspirational. 

 “To have met them that summer, and then they went to the Olympics and won gold medals, it made me want to be a part of that,” said Duvall, who went on to win a gold and two silver medals at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. “It motivated me.”

 Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, a former Tigerbelle who currently serves as director of track and field at TSU, said she first met Rudolph when she was a high school senior, and that the two formed a bond that lasted until Rudolph’s death. 

 “She was just a down-to-earth person,” recalled Cheeseborough-Guice. “She brought me in like one of her own children. She was a mother figure to me.”

Rudolph’s feats were seen as a true American story and was made into a television movie in 1977 starring Shirley Jo Finney as Wilma, an up and coming actor by the name of Denzel Washington as her love interest, and Cicely Tyson as her mother, Blanche Rudolph.

The Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee, native was also seen as an important figure in African American history. In 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened and featured Rudolph in its sports section, including a pair of her Olympic cleats and photographs. 

TSU also has a display of the track and field sports legend housed at the Brown-Daniel Library. The campus display is a main attraction during the summer months leading up to the Olympic Games. 

To learn more about TSU’s track and field program, visit http://www.tsutigers.com/wtrack/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Receives 11 Nominations For 2019 HBCU Digest Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is a finalist in 11 categories of the 2019 Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ Digest Awards.

The winners will be announced at the ninth annual HBCU Awards ceremony to be held on August 2 at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in downtown Baltimore. 

TSU is a finalist for University of the Year, and TSU President Glenda Glover is in the running for Female President of the Year.

Other TSU nominations are:

Best Marching Band: Aristocrat of Bands

Best HBCU Choir: New Direction Choir

Best Fine Arts Program: Department of Music

Best Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) Program: College of Engineering

Best Business Program: Executive MBA Program

Alumna of the Year: Traci Otey Blunt

Female Coach of the Year: Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice

Male Athlete of the Year: Christion Abercrombie

Male Student of the Year: Jailen Leavell

The HBCU Awards is the first and only national awards ceremony honoring individual and institutional achievement at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country. Winners are selected by a panel of previous winners, journalist, HBCU executives, students and alumni for the merit of accomplishment and for generating positive coverage for HBCU campus communities.

Last year, Tennessee State University received awards for “Best Student Organization” and “Alumnus of the Year.”

The year before that, TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands and the university’s College of Engineering received top honors in the HBCU Digest Awards.

In 2015, TSU’s women’s basketball team got Female Team of the Year, and student activities received Best Student Organization.

To see all the 2019 HBCU Awards finalists, visit: https://bit.ly/31JbrRF

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU’s Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice to Serve as USA Assistant Coach at IAAF World Indoor Championships

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

INDIANAPOLIS (TSU News Service)  Tennessee State Director of Track and Field Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice will serve as an assistant coach for Team USA at the IAAF World Indoor Championships scheduled for March 1-4 in Birmingham, U.K.

“It means so much to me to be able to continue to help with the USA team this year,” Cheeseborough-Guice said. “I will be assisting with the sprints and hurdles. It is an honor.”

Cheeseborough-Guice, the nine-time Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, has been involved at the international level since winning gold at the Pan American Games as a 16-year old sprinter. Most recently, Cheeseborough-Guice served as an assistant coach for USA at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

Also in her coaching career, the Jacksonville, Florida native was an assistant for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and was the women’s Head Coach at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

As an athlete, Cheeseborough-Guice won Olympic gold medals with the 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay teams in 1984 in Los Angeles. She also earned the silver in the 1984 Olympics in the 400-meter.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Cheeseborough-Guice, McMillan, White selected members of Inaugural National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame Class

Courtesy: TSU Athletics 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) Tigerbelle legends Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, Kathy McMillan and Willye B. White are among the 30 members of the inaugural class of the National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame.

The 2018 class will be inducted during a gala awards dinner on March 8 at the New York Athletic Club. The dinner will take place on the eve of the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championships at the Armory in New York City. Some of the other inductees include legends Jesse Owens, Steve Prefontaine and Jim Ryun, among others.

Cheeseborough, who currently serves as TSU’s director of Track and Field, starred at Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida in the mid-1970s. She went on to star for the Tigerbelles and won three medals, including two golds, for the United States at the 1984 Olympics.

McMillan competed for Hoke County High School in North Carolina in the 1970s. She earned the silver in the long jump at the 1976 Olympics.

White, who died in 2007, attended Broad Street High School in Mississippi in the mid-1950s and earned Olympic silver medals in 1956 (long jump) and 1964 (4x100m relay).

The Hall of Fame selection committee included noted track and field historians and statisticians Mark Bloom, Bob Jarvis, Dave Johnson, Mike Kennedy, Joe Lanzalotto, Marjorie Larney, Walt Murphy, Jack Pfeifer, Jack Shepard, Jim Spier and Tracy Sundlun. The Hall will honor three categories of inductees:

  • Athletes: Competitors who have demonstrated exemplary athletic performance while in high school.
  • Coaches: Leaders who have created excellence at the program level, achieving extraordinary results year after year.
  • Contributors: Innovators and game changers. These may include administrators or media members who have elevated high school-age track and field through innovative work and tireless dedication.

For more information on the High School Track and Field Hall of Fame or to view the complete list of inductees and their biographies, visit nationalhighschooltrackandfieldhof.org

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Director of Track and Field Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice receives lifetime achievement award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University Director of Track and Field Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice is the recipient of the Jimmy Carnes Lifetime Achievement Award.

She received the award from the Florida Track and Field Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Jan.  8 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“Jimmy Carnes has done a lot for the sport of track and field, and I’m honored that my name is in a conversation with his name,” Cheeseborough-Guice said.

Carnes served as the head coach of the track and field team at the University of Florida before being named head coach of the United States Olympic Team.

Cheeseborough-Guice emerged on the scene in 1975 at age 16, where she won a gold medal in the 200-meter dash in the Pan American Games with a world junior record of 22.77 seconds. She also won the TAC 100-meter championship in a time of 11.13.

The Jacksonville, Fla. native went on to be named to three United States Olympic teams. She placed sixth as a 17-year old in the 100-meter dash in Montreal  in 1976. She qualified for the ill-fated 1980 Olympic team that did not compete because of a boycott. In 1984, at the Los Angeles games, she made Olympic history by running a leg on two gold-medal relay teams and was the silver medalist in the 400-meters.

As a coach, Cheeseborough-Guice has guided TSU to eight Ohio Valley Conference Championships and is an eight-time OVC Coach of the Year honoree.

In 2008, Cheeseborough-Guice was named the sprinter’s coach for the USA Team that competed in the Beijing, China Olympics. USA captured 23 medals that included 10 gold, eight silver and five bronze medals.

In 2009, she served as the women’s head coach for Team USA at the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Berlin, Germany. Under Cheeseborough-Guice, the team collected 22 medals overall, winning more than any other country to dominate the placing table with 231 points. Team USA registered 10 gold, six silver and six bronze medals, along with several outstanding performances.

During the summer of 2015, the TSU graduate helped guide Team USA as an assistant coach at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Cheeseborough-Guice worked directly with the women’s sprinters and hurdlers, who took home 10 of the team’s 41 medals at the games.