Barbara Kousky dies at 77; former national masters chair helped organize 1989 Eugene worlds

Barbara Kousky followed Jerry Donley as TAC national masters chair in the 1980s.Barbara Kousky followed Jerry Donley as TAC national masters chair in the 1980s.

Former national masters chair Barbara Kousky has died at age 77, according to a spokesman for the Prefontaine Classic.

Jeff Oliver, spokesman for the Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon, where Kousky once lived and partnered with meet director Tom Jordan, said Thursday: “Barbara sadly passed away last weekend. No funeral or memorial arrangements have been made as of yet.”

Kousky — pronounced COW-ski — headed masters track under The Athletics Congress (TAC), which later became USA Track & Field.

In 1990, she was named winner of the David Pain Award for Distinguished Service to the sport.

Kousky and Jordan, whose business was Northwest Events Management, teamed to organize the 1989 World Masters Athletics Championships in Eugene, which boasted 4,754 entrants from 57 nations.

Born October 29, 1941, she lived in Junction City, Oregon, where she was married to Edgar “Ed” Kousky, according to online records.

In a 2010 video, where she spoke to the Oregon Track Club, she said she was looking forward to officiating.

She was succeeded as national masters chair in 1996 by Seattle’s Ken Weinbel — losing her office by a single vote after an eight-year run.

I didn’t know her personally. But I tried to influence her. I wrote a Masters Manifesto and Open letter to Barbara in the first year of my “Masters Track and Field Home Page,” when it was based on AOL.

Please join me in offering condolences and good thoughts for a masters pioneer.

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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 or Story tips always welcome!

4 Comments on "Barbara Kousky dies at 77; former national masters chair helped organize 1989 Eugene worlds"

  1. I’m very sorry to hear this, Ken. Barbara and I enjoyed a nice friendship in the 1990s, and she was kind enough to fly me out to Eugene in 1996 to announce the NCCWAVA meet (a 4-day affair at Hayward Field). I was very appreciative of that gesture, as Eugene would be only my second appearance on the international stage, and I had announced just one nationals.

    I will try to find out more about the cause of her passing away.

  2. I am sad to learn about Barbara’s passing. She was someone I cousult as Executive Director of TAC\USATF and her advise always proved to be right on the mark. A void has been created with the unlikely chance another will not be found because, like her, they don’t make the peoiple with the same attitude of cooperating with everyone today.

    Ollan Cassell

  3. Barbara Kousky was a true champion of Masters Track and Field. She, Al Oerter, Payton Jordan, and many other greats who are no longer with us, or competing, believed; Age-grouped athletics would one day be the final piece to the Olympic Charter.

  4. Barbara died last Monday, according to paid obituary in the Eugene Register-Guard:

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