When the United States Olympic Committee announced the Class of 2012 to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame recently, it was no surprise that a coaching legend from Tennessee State University was included as a member of the prestigious group.
Coach Ed Temple will join six Olympians, one Paralympian, one team, as well as a veteran and a special contributor when they are formally introduced and honored July 12 during an awards ceremony at the Harris Theater in Chicago.
Along with Coach Temple, the list of inductees includes Gail Devers (track & field), Jean Driscoll (Paralympic track & field), Gary Hall Jr. (swimming), Lisa Fernandez (softball), Kristine Lilly (soccer), Dan O'Brien (track & field), Jenny Thompson (swimming), the 2004 U.S. Olympic Women's Softball Team, James Connolly (veteran - track & field) and Ted Stevens (special contributor).
The Class of 2012 was determined by a voting process that includes Olympians, Paralympians, members of the Olympic Family and a public voting element. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate is one of the only national sports halls of fame that includes fan voting as part of its selection process. This year more than 100,000 votes were cast at TeamUSA.org.
"Over the years, these men and women captured our hearts and inspired us as Americans to strive for greatness, paving the way for today's Olympians and Paralympians who will soon compete in this summer's London Games," said Lisa Cochrane, senior vice president of marketing for Allstate. "Allstate is proud to support such a prestigious, lifetime achievement and extends its gratitude to the fans for their role in determining the very deserving U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2012."
The Class of 2012 is the 15th class to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate and will bring the total membership to 96 Olympians, five Paralympians, 10 teams, four coaches, 10 veterans, 16 contributors and two Olive Branch award inductees.
"The Class of 2012 inductees have provided fans of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams with countless inspiring moments, and it's an honor to welcome them to the U.S Olympic Hall of Fame, where both their achievements and impact will be celebrated," said Scott Blackmun, USOC chief executive officer. "Together with Allstate and fans of Team USA, we congratulate them on their accomplishments and thank them for their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements."
A 1950 graduate of Tennessee State University, Coach Edward Stanley Temple served as head women's track coach at Tennessee State University from 1953 to 1994 and became one of the greatest coaches in Olympic history. He helped establish the U.S. as a women's sprinting powerhouse and served as head coach of two U.S. Olympic teams (1960 and 1964), during which time his athletes brought home 23 Olympic medals (13 gold, six silver and four bronze).
His teams also won 34 national team titles and 30 Pan-American Games medals. As the women's coach, Coach Temple laid a foundation for growth in women's athletics, a boom that continues to this day.
Temple's 44-year coaching tenure at Tennessee State University saw him coach and mentor some of the greatest athletes in Olympic history, including Wyomia Tyus, Wilma Rudolph and Willie White. Rudolph was the first American woman of any race to win three track & field gold medals at a single Olympic Games, while Tyus was the first woman to successfully defend an Olympic 100-meter gold medal.
For Temple's athletes, a gold medal was only the start. The impact Temple had on his young female athletes stretched far beyond the track. Among the 40 Olympians he coached (35 of whom represented the U.S.), 28 of them have master's degrees and 14 of them have either an M.D. or Ph.D.
In addition to his 24 national titles, Temple has numerous other accolades, and is a member of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Helms Hall of Fame, Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, Harrisburg Central Area Chapter Hall of Fame, Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame, Black Athletes Hall of Fame and Communiplex National Sports Hall of Fame.
"I am excited to hear that Coach Temple has been inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame," said former TSU Tigerbelle and current Track & Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice. "He deserves it. We have put so many athletes into the Olympic games thanks to his hard work and dedication."
The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be formally introduced and honored on July 12 during an awards ceremony at the Harris Theater in Chicago. The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Roberts and Alex Flanagan, will air in a nationally-televised broadcast on NBC Sports Network on August 24 at 7 p.m. Central Time.
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