NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hundreds were on hand as a 15-year effort to memorialize Ed Temple concluded on Friday as the statue of the legendary Tennessee State University track and field coach was dedicated near the right field entrance to First Tennessee Park.
The 9-foot statue on a 13,000-ton granite base, crafted by world-renowned sports sculptor Brian Hanlon, 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.
During the ceremony, Temple relived some of his fondest memories from his time as the TSU head coach, as well as his experience with the Olympic team. Temple, now 87 years old, recognized and thanked member of his family and the community, as well as former student-athletes and administrators.
Among the other speakers who addressed the crowd on the morning were Congressman Jim Cooper, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover and Coach Temple Statue Committee member Bo Roberts.
Many of Temple’s Tigerbelles were in attendance, and Olympic medalists Edith McGuire and Wyomia Tyus spoke as part of the ceremony as well.