TSU mourns loss of former Tigerbelle, U.S. Olympian Mamie Rallins

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service/TSU Sports Information) – Tennessee State University is mourning the loss of former Tigerbelle and U.S. Olympian Mamie Rallins.

The 74-year-old passed away on Monday, May 16, following a car accident in Ohio.

“It’s a sad day not just for Tennessee State, but for the Tigerbelles,” said TSU Track and Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice.

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)

Rallins, who graduated from TSU in 1976, ran for legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple. She competed for the United States in the hurdles during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City as well as the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

The Chicago native went on to serve as 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.

Helping to start the women’s track and field program at Ohio State, she coached 60 Big Ten champions, 24 All-Americans and one Olympian during her 18-year career in Columbus.

On the national and international level, Rallins was the head coach of the U.S. Indoor World Championship team in 1987 and was an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1996. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Rallins worked as the head manager for the USA women’s track and field team.

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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.