San Diego State University alums trying to restore men’s track, dormant since 1992

Steve Williams went from SDSU to Florida and became a world-class sprinter who deserved an Olympic medal.

When you review San Diego State’s men’s track all-time lists, you can’t help but note the superstars — including Olympic champion long jumpers Willie Steele (1948) and Arnie Robinson (1976). World-class sprinters and hurdlers include Steve Williams, Marty Krulee, James King, Wes Williams, Quentin Wheeler and Don Shy. Bill Halverson — a masters vaulter — is present. So is Billy Konchellah, who went on to win two world titles at 800 meters. Coach Bob Larsen went to school there.

But after 1989 — nothing. Track was dropped in 1992. Women eventually were reinstated, but the men’s team has been absent for nearly three decades.

But hope is alive thanks to Paul Greer, a former middle-distance star for the Aztecs who went on to run run a sub-4 mile and become a San Diego track coach.

Today he’s quietly leading an effort to revive men’s track at SDSU.

Paul writes: “We are trying to reinstate the Men’s Track and Field program at SDSU. If you could take this 15-second survey, it would greatly help us collect necessary data about this project! Thank you in advance!”

See this Google form.

Here’s what we learn:

During its 70 years of existence, the San Diego State Men’s Track and Field Program has made remarkable contributions and had enormous impact on the sport, the university, the student-athletes and the community at large. The program has produced world class athletes that have won Olympic gold medals and competed internationally. Throughout the years, the men’s program drew heavily on the local hot-bed of San Diego High School Track and Field talent, which still exists today.

The San Diego State Men’s Track and Field team’s last competition was on May 20-23, 1992, at the Air Force Academy. What’s amazing is that when you look at who has been and is coaching track at the local Universities, Junior Colleges, High Schools and Clubs, it is male (and now female) alumni from the San Diego State program. The program truly gives back “in kind” to community. Recently, a number of Aztec Alumni and friends have come together to propose bringing back SDSU Men’s Track and Field to SDSU’s Administration and now we need your feedback and support.

During its 70 years of existence, the San Diego State Men’s Track and Field Program has made remarkable contributions and had enormous impact on the sport, the university, the student-athletes and the community at large. The program has produced world class athletes that have won Olympic gold medals and competed internationally. Throughout the years, the men’s program drew heavily on the local hot-bed of San Diego High School Track and Field talent, which still exists today.

The San Diego State Men’s Track and Field team’s last competition was on May 20-23, 1992 at the Air Force Academy. What’s amazing is that when you look at who has been and is coaching track at the local Universities, Junior Colleges, High Schools and Clubs, it is male (and now female) alumni from the San Diego State program. The program truly gives back “in kind” to community. Recently, a number of Aztec Alumni and friends have come together to propose bringing back SDSU Men’s Track and Field to SDSU’s Administration and now we need your feedback and support.

Reinstating Men’s Track and Field at SDSU

The San Diego State Men’s Track and Field program was established in 1922. The first coach, Charles E. “Pete” Peterson established a solid program with clear vision that set the tone for the next 70 years.

During its 70 years of existence, the San Diego State Men’s Track and Field Program has made remarkable contributions and had enormous impact on the sport, the university, the student-athletes and the community at large. The program has produced world class athletes that have won Olympic gold and competed internationally.

It’s no coincidence that the university gym is named after the first track coach. Over the years, the men’s program drew heavily on the local hot-bed of San Diego High School Track and Field talent, which still exists today. What’s amazing is that when you look at who’s has been and is coaching track at the local Universities, Junior Colleges, High Schools and Clubs, it is male (and now female) alumni from the San Diego State program. The program truly gives back “in kind” to community.

It’s in this spirit Past SDSU Aztec track and Field Alumnus have met on several occasions to explore the possibility of reinstating Men’s Track and Field to the SDSU Co-Curricular Athletic Program.

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at TrackCEO@aol.com or kens@timesofandiego.com. Story tips always welcome!

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