NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State University mourns the loss of former Tigerbelle and US Olympian Mamie Rallins, who passed away on Monday, May 16, in a car accident in Ohio. She was 74 years old.
“It is a sad day at Tennessee State University,” Tennessee State Director of Track and Field Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice said. “It’s a sad day not just for Tennessee State, but for the Tigerbelles. I first met Mamie in 1975 when I was a high schooler, and she was here with the summer track program. I remember her making me a pair of shorts out of a yard of material, and we used to laugh about that every time we talked.”
Rallins, who ran for legendary TSU track and field coach Ed Temple, competed for the United States in the hurdles during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City as well as the 1972 Olympics in Munich. She graduated from Tennessee State University in 1976.
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 US. Olympic Team in 1996. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Rallins worked as the head manager for the USA women’s track and field team.