Tag Archives: Tigerbelles

TSU to host screening of documentary about legendary track coach Ed Temple and the Tigerbelles

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will host a screening of the newly released documentary, “Mr. Temple and the Tigerbelles,” on Wednesday, March 14.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium  on the Avon Williams Campus in downtown Nashville. It is free and open to the public.

The documentary covers Temple and the Tigerbelles’ success during a time when the nation was embroiled in a civil rights crisis as African Americans sought equality. The film also features testimonials from historians, writers and former Tigerbelles.

The event will feature a brief panel with the filmmakers, Tom Neff and Shelly Hay, as well as reflections and remarks from some of the former Tigerbelles expected to attend.

TSU President Glenda Glover said the documentary is an “extremely proud moment.”

“Whenever I talk with individuals about Coach Temple, I also remind them that he was a great educator as well, ensuring that all Tigerbelles earned their degrees as top student athletes,” Dr. Glover said. “The members of the Temple Documentary Fund and the filmmakers did an amazing job of documenting the remarkable accomplishments of the Tigerbelles under the leadership of Coach Temple.”

Former Tigerbelle and Olympic gold medalist Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice said she’s looking forward to seeing the documentary.

“I am honored, and just excited about the showing,” said Cheeseborough-Guice, who currently serves as TSU’s director of track and field,

“It was truly a blessing to be able to be under the leadership of coach Temple, and then to go on and have this documentary done is such an awesome accomplishment.”

Temple was an internationally known track and field icon. He coached the TSU Tigerbelles for more than 40 years and the U.S. Women’s Track and Field team at the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games. During that time, he produced 41 Olympians who won 23 medals, 13 of them gold. Temple passed away Sept, 22, 2016, at the age of 89. He belongs to nine different halls of fame and is one of three coaches inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.

“I had always admired Mr. Temple and his story of greatness,” said Bo Roberts, Nashville businessman and chairman of the Temple Documentary Fund. “What he and the Tigerbelles were able to accomplish over his 40-year coaching span was truly amazing. Their platform was much bigger than a coach and his players. They overcame racial and gender battles, and made a major impact on a nation and a world.”

The documentary premiered Feb. 26 on CBS Sports Network and has made several appearances on the channel since the initial airing. The film will continue to air on CBS Sports Network throughout the year. Please check your cable provider for local listings.

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.

Hundreds attend memorial service for legendary track and field coach Edward S. Temple

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Hundreds of people attended a memorial service for legendary track and field coach Edward S. Temple, a man heavily praised, mainly for being a game changer.

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TSU President Glenda Glover speaks at Coach Ed Temple memorial service . (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

“Coach Ed Temple helped to put TSU on the international stage,” TSU President Glenda Glover said during the Sept. 30 service in the university’s Kean Hall. “He made TSU a household name.”

Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89. Among those attending his service were Temple’s daughter, Edwina; Gov. Bill Haslam; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; a number of Temple’s famed Tigerbelles; and representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee and United States of America Track and Field Association.

“I get the honor everyday to represent 6.6 million Tennesseans. And on special occasions, I get the opportunity to recognize some very special Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “And there is no doubt that we’re here today to honor a man who is one of those. Your coach deserves to be in the very top level of our heroes of Tennessee.”

Barry said she has a small replica of a statue of Temple on her desk, to remind her of the “incredible impact that one person can have.”

U.S. Olympic Committee representative Tracy Sundlun knew Coach Temple for more than 40 years. He said Temple was “always willing to share with those of us who came after him.”

“He was a very generous man,” Sundlun said. “He gave without hesitation, or reservation.”

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

During his speech, Sundlun read a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association that said in part: “We believe Ed to be the most prolific women’s track and field coach in the history of the sport,” which caused an eruption of applause.

Before the service, Davidson County Criminal Court clerk Howard Gentry, Jr. expressed similar sentiment during an interview when he called Temple “an icon, not to be duplicated in any form.”

“He built a team of world class track participants who changed the landscape of women’s track forever,” said Gentry, who was TSU’s athletic director when Temple retired.

Temple was head of TSU’s women’s track and field program from 1950 to 1994. Under his coaching, the Tigerbelles won 23 Olympic medals. In all, he led more than 40 athletes to the Olympics. His athletes also accumulated more than 30 national titles.

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Former Tigerbelle and Olympic gold medalist Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, who heads TSU’s track and field program. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about the Tigerbelles, said there were a few countries like Germany that dominated track and field, particularly at the Olympic Games, up until the mid-1950s. But then the Tigerbelles made their presence known at the Games in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956 when they won several bronze medals.

They continued that domination at the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, highlighted by Wilma Rudolph’s three gold medals, the first American woman to win that many gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games.

“Since 1960, it’s been America dominating,” Lewis said. “And it was the Tigerbelles who started that wave. Coach Temple would often say, ‘They paved the way for other women in sports.’”

Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston, who was among the athletes that Temple trained, agreed his legacy lives on.

“He certainly made a difference in the track and field world,” said Boston, who got a gold medal in the long jump competition during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

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Coach Ed Temple’s daughter, Edwina. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

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

“He did it in some of the toughest times that our nation faced,” Gentry said. “And so to see that occur in the 50s and the 60s, and then moving into the 70s, was an amazing feat by one person. But also a true inspiration for all who had the ability to experience it.”

Monica Fawknotson, executive director of the Metro Sports Authority, of which Temple was a founding member, said Temple had a “profound influence.”

“He not only embodied excellence, he expected it from us and, like all great coaches, called it out of us,” Fawknotson said. “He taught us that greatness is not about one’s color or gender, but about hard work and the spirit of a person.”

In 2015, a 9-foot bronze statue was unveiled in Temple’s likeness at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. The visionary for the statue was Nashville businessman Bo Roberts, who said the project had been in the works for well over a decade, and that he was glad the unveiling could finally take place for one of his longtime heroes.

“We hope locals and visitors will come to this statue to learn about and honor one of the city’s most important citizens,” Roberts said.

Coach Temple’s legacy is now on display for the world to see as exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The TSU collection includes Temple’s Olympic jacket, replicas of gold medals, and other artifacts or memorabilia.

To read more about Coach 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.

Tigerbelles remember Edward S. Temple as more than a coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The women Ed Temple helped become Olympic medalists say the legendary track and field coach was a “father figure” who motivated them to be successful outside the sport.

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Tigerbelles and Olympic Gold Medalists Wyomia Tyus and Edith McGuire Duvall speak at Temple memorial press conference. (Photo by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Coach Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89. A memorial service was held Sept. 30 in TSU’s Kean Hall, and many of Temple’s famed Tigerbelles attended.

One of them was former Tigerbelle Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, who inherited the title of TSU track coach from Temple. She made Olympic history at the 1984 Los Angeles Games when she ran a leg on two gold-medal relay teams and was the silver medalist in the 400 meters.

She recalled Temple calling her after he retired in 1994 and urging her to take the job. She didn’t say no.

“I got the job and 22 years later, I’m still here at Tennessee State,” said Cheeseborough-Guice, adding that she considered Temple to be a “father figure, and a man of truth and wisdom.”

“I’m blessed that he entrusted me with this program, to keep the legacy going,” she said.

Temple led the Tigerbelles to 23 Olympic medals. In all, of the 40 athletes he trained and sent to the Olympics, 100 percent of them received college degrees.

“This speaks to his greatness and impact,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Tennessee State will always remember Ed Temple, the man and the coach.”

Coach Temple’s daughter, Edwina, said about 85 percent of those 40 Olympians have more than one degree, and roughly 10 percent have doctorates.

“He wanted them to get an education,” she said. “He wanted them to be productive citizens once they left this institution.”

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Former Tigerbelles Madeline Manning Mims and Edith McGuire Duvall, and current Tigerbelle Amber Hughes, sign banner dedicated to Coach Ed Temple before his memorial service. (photo by John Cross, TSU Public Relations)

Former Tigerbelle and two-time Olympic medalist Madeline Manning Mims said it was Temple who encouraged her to get her doctorate.

“He just really encouraged me to go all the way,” Mims said. “I remember calling Edwina and letting her know when I got my master’s, and he said, ‘OK, you’ve gone all the way in athletics, now go all the way in education.’”

Former Tigerbelle Edith McGuire Duvall said she appreciated the fact that Temple wanted his athletes to perform just as good, or better, in the classroom.

“He impressed upon me to finish school,” said the Olympic gold medalist, adding that she lost her father a year before she started at TSU, and that Temple was someone she turned to for advice. “This man treated us all like his kids. We were there to run track, but also to get an education.”

Olympic bronze medalist Margaret Matthews Wilburn, a retired Memphis principal, said her experience with Temple as a Tigerbelle helped her be successful in the workforce.

“Some of the skills I learned from him; some of the work habits I learned from him, I used them as a principal,” Wilburn said. “He made me a better person.”

Current Tigerbelle Amber Hughes said that even though she didn’t train under Temple, she feels fortunate to be coached by someone who did.

“Just to know that he is the one who brought my coach here, and that I’m now under the coaching of who he coached and brought up,” Hughes said. “He was a great man.”

Coach Temple’s legacy is now on display as exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The TSU collection includes Temple’s Olympic jacket, replicas of gold medals won by the Tigerbelles, and other artifacts or memorabilia.

To read more about Coach 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.

 

Legendary coach Ed Temple ‘changed the landscape of women’s track forever’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Legendary track and field coach Ed Temple’s impact on the sport will be discussed for generations to come, say those close to the man who led Tennessee State University’s famed Tigerbelles to 23 Olympic medals.

Temple died Sept. 22 at the age of 89. A memorial service is planned for Sept. 30 in TSU’s Kean Hall.

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Coach Ed Temple’s daughter, Edwina (far left); Sculptor Brian Hanlon; Coach Temple; TSU President Glenda Glover at unveiling of sculpture honoring Temple. (photo by John Cross)

“His accomplishments are unparalleled and continue to resonate even today on our campus and with any organization participating in the sport,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Tennessee State will always remember Ed Temple, the man and the coach.”

Davidson County Criminal Court clerk Howard Gentry, Jr., who was TSU’s athletic director when Temple retired, called him “an icon, not to be duplicated in any form.”

“He built a team of world class track participants who changed the landscape of women’s track forever,” Gentry said.

Temple was head of TSU’s women’s track and field program from 1950 to 1994. He led more than 40 athletes to the Olympics, snagging 16 gold medals. His athletes also accumulated more than 30 national titles.

Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about the Tigerbelles, said there were a few countries like Germany that dominated track and field, particularly at the Olympic Games, up until the mid-1950s. But then the Tigerbelles made their presence known at the Games in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956 when they won several bronze medals.

They continued that domination at the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960, highlighted by Wilma Rudolph’s three gold medals, the first American woman to win that many gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games.

1959-60 Tigerbells with Coach Temple
(TSU archives)

“Since 1960, it’s been America dominating,” Lewis said. “And it was the Tigerbelles who started that wave. Coach Temple would often say, ‘They paved the way for other women in sports.’”

Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston, who was among the athletes that Temple trained, agreed his legacy lives on.

“He certainly made a difference in the track and field world,” said Boston, who got a gold medal in the long jump competition during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

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

“He did it in some of the toughest times that our nation faced,” Gentry said. “And so to see that occur in the 50s and the 60s, and then moving into the 70s, was an amazing feat by one person. But also a true inspiration for all who had the ability to experience it.”

Monica Fawknotson, executive director of the Metro Sports Authority, of which Temple was a founding member, said Temple had a “profound influence.”

“He not only embodied excellence, he expected it from us and, like all great coaches, called it out of us,” Fawknotson said. “He taught us that greatness is not about one’s color or gender, but about hard work and the spirit of a person.”

In 2015, a 9-foot bronze statue was unveiled in Temple’s likeness at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. The visionary for the statue was Nashville businessman Bo Roberts, who said the project had been in the works for well over a decade, and that he was glad the unveiling could finally take place for one of his longtime heroes.

“We hope locals and visitors will come to this statue to learn about and honor one of the city’s most important citizens,” Roberts said.

Coach Temple’s legacy is now on display for the world to see as exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The TSU collection includes Temple’s Olympic jacket, replicas of gold medals, and other artifacts or memorabilia.

To read more about Coach Temple, and get information about the memorial service, 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.

 

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 Olympians recall Olympic experiences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – It’s been more than 50 years, but Tennessee State University Olympian Ralph Boston still gets a rush when he thinks about his Olympic experience.

Ralph Boston 1960 Gold Medalist - Copy
TSU’s Ralph Boston at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. (TSU Media Relations)

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

Boston is among a number of TSU Olympians who understand the excitement, and anxiety, athletes are experiencing in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.

“It can be overwhelming and sometime frightening when you see all the colors from the other nations and you are wondering how you fit in or how prepared you are,” Boston said.

However, TSU alumna Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice said the anxiety to help the team win can also serve as a motivation.

“Sometimes all it takes is that extra sense of motivation from months – and sometime years – of preparation that push you to give it your all, said Cheeseborough-Guice, who is director of the TSU track and field program. “After all, you made the trials, you got selected … that is special.”

1960 Olympic Team
Legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple and the 1960 TSU Olympic team. (TSU Media Relations)

Cheeseborough-Guice made history at the Los Angeles games in 1984 when she ran a leg on two gold-medal relay teams and was the silver medalist in the 400 meters.

TSU has won 23 Olympic medals: 13 gold, six silver and four bronze.

A large part of that success is due to legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple, whose famed Tigerbelles produced 40 Olympians. Besides Cheeseborough-Guice, another famous Tigerbelle and Olympian is the late Wilma Rudolph, who became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.

Other Tigerbelles who won Olympic medals include: Madeline Manning Mims, Edith McGuire, Wyomia Tyus and Willye White.

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

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TSU alumnus Markeith Price

TSU is hoping to continue it’s winning tradition this year in the Paralympic Games in Rio with 2012 graduate Markeith Price, who will represent Team USA in track and field. The Paralympics start September 7.

“We are excited about Markeith going to the Paralympics,” said Cheeseborough-Guice, who coached Price at TSU. “He was an excellent athlete who worked very hard. I have no doubt that he will perform well.”

Price, who is visually impaired, is making his second straight appearance in the Paralympics. He was a member of the 2012 London games, where he finished 6th in the long jump and 8th in the 400-meter dash.

Like those Olympians before him, Price said he’s inspired to do his best – and bring home the top prize.

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

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.

Former TSU Tigerbelles Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, Madeline Manning Mims among Olympians to be honored at U.S Olympic Track and Field Trials

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Former Tennessee State University Tigerbelles Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice and Madeline Manning Mims are among Olympians being honored during the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

The women will participate in the opening ceremony at storied Hayward Field and will join other Olympians who will be recognized for their achievements throughout the trials July 1-10.

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Former Tigerbelle and Olympian Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice

“It’s exciting,” said Cheeseborough-Guice, who is director of TSU’s track and field program. “It’s going to be like a reunion.”

Mims said she too is looking forward to reconnecting with other Olympians.

“We’re all out there doing our thing and we’re in different places, so we don’t get a chance to see each other,” Mims said. “This is a great opportunity for us to come back together and find out what’s going on, and watch the young ones come in.”

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. She went on to be named to three United States Olympic teams. 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.

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Former Tigerbelle and Olympian Madeline Manning Mims

Between 1967 and 1981, Mims won 10 national titles and set a number of American records. She participated in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics. At the 1968 games, she was awarded a gold medal in the 800-meter race, the only American woman to win the event. In 1972, she won a silver medal in the 4 x 400 meters relay. Mims founded the U.S. Council for Sports Chaplaincy. The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics will be her eighth as a Team USA chaplain.

Dwight Lewis, who is co-authoring a book about TSU’s famed Tigerbelles, said it’s only fitting that Cheeseborough-Guice and Mims should be recognized during the trials because they were part of a team that “paved the way for other women in sports.”

The Tigerbelles got the attention of the world in 1956 when TSU (Tennessee A&I at the time), led by legendary track and field coach Ed Temple, sent six members to the Olympics in Australia. The Tigerbelles returned to the 1960 Olympics in Rome and made history when Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals, making her a household name.

The Tigerbelles won a total of 23 Olympic medals. Lewis said what was also impressive about members of the team is that they also excelled outside track and field.

“Not only did they perform well in track and field, but … they got their degrees,” he said.

Temple said Cheeseborough-Guice and Mims, as well as all his Tigerbelles, are inspirations and deserve all the recognition they continue to get.

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

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.