A 15-year effort to memorialize Ed Temple will conclude Aug. 28 when a statue of the legendary Tennessee State University track and field coach is dedicated near the right field entrance to First Tennessee Park.
The 9-foot statue on a 13,000-ton granite base is the product of a fundraising effort that drew contributions from 114 people, including more than 20 of Temple’s Tigerbelles. Donations ranged from $15 to $10,000.
Temple was the women’s track coach at Tennessee State University from 1950 to 1994, coach of the U.S. women’s Olympic track team in 1960 and 1964, and assistant coach in the U.S. women’s Olympic track team in 1980.
“The Coach Temple Statue Committee is grateful to those who have given. Each is now part of Nashville’s history and a part of Temple’s team,” committee member Bo Roberts said in a release. “The Coach’s impact on Nashville will forever be immortalized by this statue. We hope locals and visitors will come to this statue to learn about and honor one of the city’s most important citizens.”
The statue unveiling ceremony will take place 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 28 and will feature local politicians and dignitaries. The public is invited to attend.
The Nashville Sports Authority will own the statue site.
“Coach Ed Temple is one of the most impressive leaders in the history of sports. With strength and compassion, he led his Tigerbelles to unparalleled achievements on and off the track,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “His contributions to our city are immeasurable, and he is most deserving of this honor.”
Courtesy Nashville Post/David Boclair