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Ed Temple, longtime Tennessee State and Olympic track coach, dead at 89

(Tennessee State photo)

One of the giants in HBCU sports history has died. Tennessee State’s Ed Temple, a legendary collegiate and Olympic track-and-field coach, died late Thursday evening, according to the University.

Temple coached at TSU from 1953 to 1994, coaching legends like Wilma Rudolph, Wyomia Tyus and Barbara Jones. He was 89-years-old at the time of his death.

He’s best known for his work with the legendary Tigerbelle squads of the 1950s and 60s, including the mythical 4x100m team consisting entirely of TSU student-athletes who brought home the gold for the United States in Rome in 1960. Temple served as head coach for both the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games and as an assistant in 1984.

In all, Temple helped guide 27 of his pupils to Olympic medals.

“His accomplishments are unparalleled and continue to resonate even today on our campus and with any organization participating in the sport,” TSU President Glenda Glover said in a statement. “Of the 40 athletes Coach Temple trained and had participate in the Olympics, 100 percent of them received college degrees. This speaks to his greatness and impact. He was a legend of a man. I am so thankful and proud of all he did for the university. Tennessee State will always remember Ed Temple, the man and the coach.”

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