Tag Archives: Ed Temple

TSU Legendary Track and Field Coach Ed Temple Remembered

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Before he became a heavyweight champion and changed his name to Muhammad Ali, Cassius Clay sat down on a bench beside Ed Temple at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and boasted that he’d one day hold the prestigious boxing title.

What Clay didn’t realize, was that he was actually talking to a legend in the making.

Clay went on to win a gold medal in Rome as a light heavyweight, and eventually became a heavyweight champion a few years later when he beat Sonny Liston, backing his claim to Temple that “people are going to be running to see me one day.”

Coincidentally, “running” made Temple a legend. Under his leadership, five members of Tennessee State University’s track team earned gold medals at the Rome Olympics. Wilma Rudolph, alone, won three gold medals and became the first American woman to achieve such a feat at any of the Olympic Games.

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TSU Coach Ed Temple and his famed Tigerbelles. (TSU archives)

Over the years, Temple went on to lead 40 athletes to the Olympics. His famed Tigerbelles, including Rudolph, snagged a total of 23 Olympic medals.

Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89 after an illness. He and Ali remained friends after they met in Rome, and had a mutual respect for one another. Shortly after Ali’s death, Temple had talked about his first meeting with the brazen fighter in Rome, and how Ali visited TSU from time to time to see him, Rudolph and some of the other athletes.

But while he was proud of his relationship with Ali, nothing made his chest stick out more than the accomplishments of his athletes.

“They are an inspiration to everybody,” Temple said in an interview shortly before his death. “It just shows what can be done. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover called Temple a “global icon in the world of track and field,” and lauded him for what he did for athletes outside the sport.

“His accomplishments are unparalleled and continue to resonate even today on our campus and with any organization participating in the sport,” she said. “Of the 40 athletes Coach Temple trained and had participate in the Olympics, 100 percent of them received college degrees. This speaks to his greatness and impact. He was a legend of a man. I am so thankful and proud of all he did for the university. Tennessee State will always remember Ed Temple, the man and the coach.”

Ed Temple

TSU Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips echoed Glover’s sentiment.

“We have truly lost a crown jewel in the treasure chest of our university,” she said. “His life, his work and his results are textbook of what one would like to emulate.”

Temple’s achievements were even more impressive coming in the midst of severe racism and discrimination that permeated the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

“There were times when riots were going on, but they kept running and competing,” said Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about the Tigerbelles. “They stuck with it and performed to the best of their ability, and won.”

For many of his athletes, Temple wasn’t just a coach, but also a father figure.

“I always looked at Coach Temple as a father figure and a man of truth and wisdom,” said TSU Olympian Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, a former Tigerbelle who inherited the title of TSU track and field coach from Temple. “He is one of the finest people I have ever had an opportunity to meet. He really brought out the best in me. He made me realize my potential that had not been tapped.”

Former Tigerbelle Edith McGuire Duvall said Temple was there for her after she lost her father.

“This man treated us all like his kids,” Duvall said. “He impressed upon me to finish school. We were there to run track, but also to get an education and to be ladies.”

Temple was head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Track and Field teams in 1960 and 1964, and assistant coach in 1980. He was inducted into nine different Halls of Fame, including the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2012, in which he was one of only four coaches to be inducted. He also served as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the international Women’s Track and Field Committee and the Nashville Sports Council.

In addition to being part of the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, Temple’s legacy continues in such recognitions as the Edward S. Temple Track at TSU; Ed Temple Boulevard in Nashville, adjacent to the TSU campus; the Edward Temple Award established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Track and Field Coaches Association; and the Edward S. Temple Seminars: Society and Sports, held annually at TSU.

Temple’s autobiography, Only the Pure in Heart Survive, was published in 1980. The book, along with additional papers and memorabilia from his lifetime of achievement, are part of the Special Collections department in TSU’s Brown-Daniel Library.

“Even after his retirement, he continued to represent TSU,” said Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor David Gregory. “He emphasized excellence in athletics, academics and in life. His former athletes are a testament to his mentorship.”

In 2015, a 9-foot bronze statue was unveiled in Temple’s likeness at First Tennessee Park in Nashville.

“Even the Bible says a prophet is seldom honored in his hometown,” U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper said at a ceremony for the unveiling of the statue. “But here we are honoring perhaps one of the greatest coaches in all of history.”

Following Temple’s death, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry released a statement directing departments and agencies to light the KVB Bridge and public buildings blue the night of Sept. 23 to honor Temple.

“Coach Temple was in a league of his own as a coach and teacher, and Nashville will miss him dearly,” Barry said.

TSU track and field exhibits are a part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. They are there mainly because of Coach Temple and his accomplishments with the TSU program and Olympics.

To read more about Coach Ed Temple, visit: www.tnstate.edu/edtemple.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

 

 

 

Tennessee State University has rich Olympic history

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – No matter what history is made at the Olympics in Rio this year, Tennessee State University will always have a place in the record books when it comes to the Games.

In 1948, TSU alumna Audrey Patterson became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic medal when she took home the bronze in the 200-meter dash at the London Games.

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TSU Olympians Ralph Boston and Wilma Rudolph with then-Cassius Clay, whom they met at the 1960 Rome Games and remained good friends. (TSU archives)

Over a span of nearly four decades, TSU went on to win more than 20 Olympic medals, including 13 gold medals. Just about all the Olympic medals were won by the world famous TSU Tigerbelles, led by legendary track and field coach Ed Temple, who produced 40 Olympians.

Probably the most memorable Olympic moment was at the 1960 Rome Games, when Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field.

Other Tigerbelles who won Olympic medals include: Madeline Manning Mims, Edith McGuire, Wyomia Tyus, Willye White, Margaret Matthews Wilburn and Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, who is currently TSU’s track and field director, and still holds the Olympic trial record in the 400-meter race.

“They are an inspiration to everybody,” Temple said in a recent interview.

Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about the Tigerbelles, said they “paved the way for other women in various sports.”

“They opened the door,” Lewis said.

1959-60 Tigerbells with Coach Temple
1959-60 TSU Tigerbelles and track and field coach Ed Temple. (TSU archives)

Tennessee State University’s Olympic success is part of its rich athletic history. Earlier this year, the university received an award for the number of TSU football players who went on to play in Super Bowls.

Everett Glenn, a sports attorney and organizer of the awards ceremony that recognized TSU, said he hopes the university’s athletic success will attract high school graduates to it and other historically black colleges and universities that have much to offer athletically – and academically.

“I can’t wait for the day that our young people understand the rich history that HBCUs have,” Glenn said.

In the case of athletics, TSU is hoping to continue its winning tradition in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

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TSU alumnus Markeith Price to compete in 2016 Paralympics in Rio. (Submitted photo)

TSU alumnus Markeith Price, who is visually impaired, will represent Team USA in track and field.

Price will make his second straight appearance in the Paralympics. He was a member of the 2012 London games, where he finished sixth in the long jump and eighth in the 400-meter dash.

“I am extremely honored and blessed for this opportunity,” Price said. “I have dedicated the last four years to training to run the best race to bring home the gold for the U.S.”

Cheeseborough-Guice, who coached Price while he was at TSU, believes he has a good shot.

“He was an excellent athlete who worked very hard,” she said. “I have no doubt that he will perform well.”

TSU Olympian Ralph Boston said he’s pulling for Price. But regardless of how he performs, he just wants the Paralympian to enjoy the moment, because he said Price became a part of history when he was selected to participate in the Games.

“It is a very exciting feeling to be selected to represent your country,” said Boston, who won a gold medal in the long jump at the 1960 Rome Games.

The Paralympic Games start September 7.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 track and field icons remember Muhammad Ali

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A few years before Muhammad Ali became a heavyweight champion, legendary track and field coach Ed Temple said the young fighter told him he would one day hold the title.

The former Tennessee State University coach said in an interview shortly after Ali’s death on June 3 that he first met the brazen boxer at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Temple, who was the U.S. women’s track coach, said he had just finished practicing and was sitting on a bench in the Olympic Village when then-Cassius Clay sat down beside him.

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TSU Olympic legends Ralph Boston and Wilma Rudolph hang out with Muhammad Ali during one of his visits to Tennessee State University. (TSU archives)

Temple said the two talked for more than 30 minutes. During their discussion, he said Clay talked about his aspirations, boasting that he would one day be “the heavyweight champion of the world,” Temple recalled.

Toward the end of their conversation, Temple said someone ran by yelling that Floyd Patterson was in the village. Patterson was the heavyweight champion at the time. Temple said when he asked Clay if he was going to see Patterson, he said “no.”

“People are going to be running to see me one day,” Temple said Clay told him.

Clay, who would later change his name to Muhammad Ali, went on to win a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics as a light heavyweight, and eventually became heavyweight champion in 1964 when he beat Sonny Liston in a sixth-round technical knockout that stunned a Miami Beach crowd. In the ring, Ali proclaimed, “I am the greatest! I am the greatest! I’m the king of the world.”

A year later, Ali fought Floyd Patterson and knocked him out in the 12th round to hold onto his title.

Despite his cockiness, Olympic gold medalist and TSU alumnus Ralph Boston said Ali was a friendly person. Boston, who won a gold medal in the long jump competition at the 1960 Olympics, said he and Ali met in New York while they were waiting to board a plane for Rome.

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

Temple and Boston said Ali was also very fond of TSU alumna Wilma Rudolph, who in 1960 became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympics.

They said after they met Ali in Rome he stayed in contact, particularly with Rudolph, and made several stops at TSU to see them on his way to training camp in Miami.

Temple also recalled a banquet where both Ali and Rudolph had been asked to speak. During his speech, he said Ali bragged about the gold medal he won. When he sat down next to Rudolph, Temple said she leaned over and whispered in his ear: “You won one, I won three.”

Temple said the two remained close friends up until her death.

Ali was 74 when he died at a hospital near Phoenix, Arizona. A family spokesman said he was being treated for respiratory complications. Ali had battled Parkinson’s disease for 32 years.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

Olympic hurdler Mamie Rallins remembered for her tenacity on and off the track

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple and others say the tenacity of Olympian Mamie Rallins allowed her to overcome hurdles on the course, and in life.

Rallins, 74, died May 16 in a car crash in Ohio.

She was a hurdler for Temple at Tennessee State University when she was in her early thirties. Temple said in an interview shortly after Rallins’ death that she didn’t let her age hinder her success.

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TSU Director of Athletics, Teresa Lawrence-Phillips, left, presents Mamie Rallins with a plaque at the Breakfast of Champions luncheon marking the TSU Centennial Celebration in 2012. (photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“She was a hard worker,” said Temple. “She was determined.”

In the book, “A Will to Win,” co-author Dwight Lewis writes about Rallins’ rough upbringing on Chicago’s Southside and her desire to escape her environment.

The only girl among five boys, Rallins’ mother died when she was 13. She was raised by her father.

“It was rough,” Rallins said in the book. “When I was in high school, I saw that by running track I might be able to get out; and even maybe travel around the world someday.”

Rallins eventually became a world-class runner, specializing in hurdling.

At age 27, she ran the 80-meter hurdles for her team in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and won the first heat in 10.6 seconds. She placed fifth in the semifinals with a time of 10.7 seconds. Sports Illustrated covered the Olympics and in one of its articles wrote the following about Rallins:

“Mamie Rallins, that tiny-waisted thing who does not look strong enough to handle a hurdle, always does. It was typical: the gun went off and here came Mamie—who had politely waited for the other girls to start first, since Mamie is courteous that way—suddenly moving so fast that she seemed to be taking tippy-toes steps between the hurdles and passing everybody easily.”

During a meet in Romania, Temple said Rallins approached him about attending college at TSU. Temple helped get her a scholarship, and she enrolled at TSU in the fall of 1971 at the age of 30 and became one of the famous Tigerbelles, who won 23 Olympic medals under Temple.

When Rallins got to TSU, Temple didn’t allow freshmen to have cars, so she had to park hers.

“She had to change a lot of things that she used to do to comply with the freshman requirements,” Temple recalled. “But she moved right along.”

Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, TSU’s director of track and field and a former Tigerbelle, said she was in high school when she first met Rallins in 1975. Cheeseborough-Guice said Rallins left a lasting impression on her because “she treated me with respect, even though I was a high schooler.”

Looking back, Cheeseborough-Guice said she admires Rallins’ willingness to do what was needed to further her education.

“She was determined to get an education no matter how old she was,” said Cheeseborough-Guice.

Rallins went on to compete in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. She graduated with a business degree from TSU in 1976, and later became head coach of the track and field/cross country programs at Ohio State University, Hampton University and Chicago State University.

She was the first African-American woman to coach at Ohio State and also served as an assistant athletic director for three years.

At the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia, Rallins worked as the head manager for the USA women’s track and field team.

Lewis said Rallins’ achievements show that she was “more than an Olympian.”

“She will remain an inspiration to people everywhere, that with determination, no goal is out of reach,” Lewis said.

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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 Greats Recognized as Pioneers at Annual Humanitarian Breakfast

TSU educators and civil rights pioneers Carrie Gentry (l) and Inez Crutchfield (r) were honored for their service to others during the 10th Annual James "Tex" Thomas  (center) Humanitarian prayer breakfast. The ceremony, held at the Northwest Family YMCA, also honored TSU women's and Olympic track coach Ed Temple.
TSU educators and civil rights pioneers Carrie Gentry (l) and Inez Crutchfield (r) were honored for their service to others during the 10th Annual James “Tex” Thomas (center) Humanitarian prayer breakfast. The ceremony, held at the Northwest Family YMCA, also honored TSU women’s and Olympic track coach Ed Temple. (photo by  John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Local, state and national politicians, as well as community leaders and friends paid tribute to three legends from Tennessee State University today for their service to others at the 10th Annual James “Tex” Thomas Humanitarian Prayer breakfast.

The ceremony was held at Nashville’s Northwest Family YMCA.

Civil rights pioneers and educators, Inez Crutchfield and Carrie Gentry, as well as legendary Olympic and TSU women’s track coach, Ed Temple, were honored for their commitment to their students, the community and fighting for the rights of others.

“The people we honor today were pioneers in the classroom, on the track and in the civil rights movement,” said Lelan Statom, master of ceremony and News Channel 5 meteorologist. “It is fitting that we honor these local humanitarians for their contributions to the Nashville community.”

Crutchfield, an assistant professor for health education at Tennessee State University from 1949 to 1985, and Gentry, an educator and wife of Howard Gentry Sr., the 12th head football coach for the TSU Tigers, were involved in the nonviolent civil rights movement in Nashville during the 1960s. They later became involved in the League for Women Voters, and were the first African-American members of the Davidson County Democratic Women.

In accepting her award, Crutchfield gave thanks for the recognition, and added that she could not have done everything alone. She had the help of “a special friend.”

“You have been my best friend for 60 years Carrie,” she said. “We’ve done it together and I love you.”

Crutchfield said the recognition was an honor since it was coming from members of her own community.

“It is especially wonderful to receive this honor by people who know me, my struggles, and what we have been able to accomplish,” she said. “This means the world to me.”

Gentry, who came to then Tennessee A&I College in 1949 with her husband, taught rhythmic and modern dance at the University, and later, along with Crutchfield, became influential in the effort to desegregate Nashville, aiding student protestors during the nonviolent civil rights movement.

“I really feel humbled today standing among so many worthy people, and you my friend, Inez (Gentry),” she said. “As I stand here today, I think about all the people that helped me move along the way. I want to thank everyone for the honor and praise. It’s a tribute to my family who helped me succeed.”

Ed Temple

TSU women’s and Olympic track coach, Ed Temple, was also recognized for his success on and off the track with the Tigerbelles and Olympic athletes during his 41 years at the University.

Temple led more than 40 athletes to Olympic competitions, bringing home a 
total of 23 Olympic medals (13 gold, six silver, and four bronze). His teams also won 34 national team titles and 30 
Pan-American Games medals.

“His success on the track and in the classroom will never be matched,” said Alfred Degrafinreid, TSU alumnus and counsel for U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, as he spoke on behalf of Temple, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

Also on the program was TSU legendary golf coach, Dr. Catana Starks, who spoke on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the need for programs to help address the difficult task of overweight children and obesity.

The annual prayer breakfast is a Northwest Family YMCA fundraising event that benefits the Y’s annual Giving Campaign. Past honorees include community leader Richard Lewis and State Representative, Brenda Gilmore.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.

City Approves Statue for TSU Coaching Legend Ed Temple

Courtesy of The Tennessean
Mike Organ, morgan@tennessean.com

TemplestatueNASHVILLE, Tenn. The decision to place a statue of Ed Temple at the Nashville Sounds’ new ballpark was intended to provide the most exposure for the legendary Tennessee State women’s track coach, Mayor Karl Dean said.

The mayor officially announced Tuesday that the statue, which will stand approximately 7 feet tall, will be erected in the entry plaza area on a greenway near First Tennessee Park that will run from the stadium to the state capitol.

“It’s on the greenway so it will be in an area where people will be running, and it’s a prominent area,” Dean said. “We’re proud of Ed Temple and we want people to know we’re proud of him, and I think that’s a good place for it.”

The statue is expected to be finished in time for the opening of the ballpark in April.

Temple, who celebrated his 87th birthday Monday, coached at TSU from 1953-1994 and the U.S. women’s Olympic track team in 1960 and 1964.

A total of 23 of his Tigerbelles won Olympic medals (13 gold), including Wyomia Tyus and Edith McGuire, who finished first and second in the 100-meter dash at the Tokyo Games and attended Tuesday’s ceremony.

The idea to build a statue came from Nashville businessman Bo Roberts.

“They told me about two years ago that they wanted to do this, and I thought they were just talking; I didn’t pay no attention to what they were saying,” Temple said. “Then about a year ago they brought it up again, and I still thought they were just talking until we had lunch with the sculptor at Swett’s (Restaurant) later on in the year. Then they got to talking and I said, ‘I think they mean business.’”

Temple said he likes that the statue will be in an area where people will run and exercise.

Roberts said several locations were considered before he and a group of city leaders settled on the ballpark.

“We were looking around at different locations and wanted to get one that was appropriate and fresh and had exposure to a lot of people,” Roberts said.

“In communicating with (Nashville Sports Authority executive director) Toby Compton and the mayor we looked at it and thought this was the perfect place at this new, exciting ballpark. It will be in the entry plaza area on the greenway, which is open 365 days a year.”

The sculptor, Brian Hanlon, unveiled a model of the statue.

“The reason this sculptor is important is that we have to create historical markers of people that made a difference,“ Hanlon said. “This statue is not for Ed Temple, it’s about coach Ed Temple and Tennessee State. There’s a very important difference. And in that way there is humility in it. Then you can inspire and educate.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.