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100 Moments: "Mother of the Tigerbelles"
Friday, August 3, 2012

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering another one of Coach Ed Temple's most successful Tigerbelles.

Mae Faggs was the first student-athlete to receive a track scholarship from Temple in 1952 earning the nickname of "mother of the Tigerbelles". Under Temple's tutelage, Faggs earned two Olympic and two Pan American medals.

Faggs, a native of Landing, N.J., came to TSU after failing to qualify for the 200-meter final in the 1948 Olympics at the age of 16.

Temple taught Faggs how to run the 4 x 100-meter relay so when the Olympics came around in 1952, Faggs was prepared.

Not only did Faggs get a spot on the U.S. Olympic relay team alongside teammate Barbara Jones, but the team actually took home a gold medal with a world-record time of 45.9 seconds.

1955 proved to be another big year as Faggs started the year by winning the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 100-yard dash with a reported time of 10.7 seconds. She finished the year with a silver medal in the 100-meter dash and another gold medal in the 4 x 100-meter relay at the Pan American games.

Faggs returned to the Olympics in 1956 for a record-setting third time to try and defend the relay title. She was teamed with fellow Tigerbelles Isabelle Daniels, Margaret Matthews and Wilma Rudolph, but the group could not retain the world championship, settling for a bronze medal. 

Faggs won 11 national Amateur Athletic Union titles and in 1976, she was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.