Sylvia Gleason: The Talmud says it is ok to tell a lie or break a law if it will save someone's life. We're not supposed to run on the Sabbath, but if I stayed at home that day and did nothing I would probably kill somebody.
Ernie Cunliffe, Stanford University, US Olympic team 800 meters 1960, wrote:
Our coach Payton Jordan wrote slogans on the dressing room wall. One was : "Champions are gracious and humble." Someone added two words "and fast."
Two quotes from Wayne Yarcho (U. of Nebraska, 1939). Wayne was a track athlete, then road runner, later a race walker.
After participating in a 24 hour relay (8 guys running repeat miles for a day) Wayne stated.
"You know, this is almost too much of a good thing."
The other memorable quote from Wayne was: "I'd push my mother out of the way to finish one place higher in a race." I am not sure he didn't really meant it.
Ed Bowes: "I'm a masochist when I run, and a sadist when I coach."
From Bruce Kritzler comes a Marty Liquori quote.
"Road racing is Rock and Roll. But track racing is Carnegie Hall."
From George Brose: on Bill Carroll, former coach at the U. of Oklahoma (1959-63). He would have a team meeting at the beginning of the year. Bill had a habit of getting all nervous and worked up while he was talking. He would say something like.
"You're grown men now, not high schoolers. So I'm not going to lay down any rules." This would go on for awhile, and then at the end he was really carrying on like a Baptist preacher in a lather, and I distinctly remember the capstone to that speech was. "Keep it in your pants, and dammit , go to church on Sunday!"
True but not so funny, we usually went on Spring Break to Arizona State for a dual or triangular meet, then down to U. of Arizona for a dual meet. Normally we got dusted pretty bad as we were just coming out of indoor season and the Arizona teams were three meets into their outdoor season. Well, we upset Arizona edging them on the last event, the mile relay. After the meet one of our top athletes went to the coach and suggested that a nice reward for the win would be a trip down to Mexico, so the coach rented three white convertibles. We drove down to Nogales for the day/evening and three guys came back with something they picked up in a bordello. Team meeting a week later. The coach says, well, our broad jumper came back with a runny nose. Any of you others having a similar problem?
From Walt Mizell, former Oklahoma half miler on Bill Carroll the OU track coach:
One of Bill's favorite sayings when meeting the team before an important track meet was,
"This ain't no county track meet."
| I like the quote of Abe Lemons, the Oklahoma City University basketball coach and humorist who once said, "track is the easiest sport to coach. Just tell the runners to bear left and hurry back."|
From Stephen Fisher,
Yes, that sounds like Abe Lemons. He also said, in my hearing, "No, I don't jog. I wanna be sick when I die." Some time after that Billy Tubbs got his ass nearly killed running on a Norman, OK road, but I think Abe was referring to actual illness. Runners are too healthy.
These quotes from Abe Lemons are so good, I had to look up some more to include.
"One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn't do you any good."
"I asked [Bud] Koper after the game why he didn't show up to eat and he told me he wasn't hungry. If I had a rule that said you couldn't start or couldn't play if you missed the pregame meal, then we would have lost the game [Koper scored 44 points in a victory]. Sometimes it's better not to have that many rules."
"I never substitute just to substitute. I play my regulars. The only way a guy gets off the floor is if he dies."
"I told [Johnny] Bench once, 'If you had come with me, you could be the principal of a high school by now'."
"Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor."
"Coaches are creatures of habit. I knew a coach who got a deal going where his players had to run a mile in six minutes. I asked why. He said, 'gut check'."
From John Bork 1961 NCAA 880 Champion at Western Michigan.
George the best track and field quote I remember was by John Telford of Wayne State University,who made a USA team and toured Europe
in 1959 or thereabouts.
When he was participating in a "clinic" he was asked how he ran the 400.
John's response was "I start out all out and then gradually build up the speed".
My favorite sports quote was in the aftermath of Mark Spitz' 6 gold medal preformance. at the Munich Games.
When a reporter asked another Swimmer who won a single Gold medal from USC, what he thought about Spitz'
amazing performance he said "It could have happened to a nicer guy!"
The craziest story I heard was before the 1972 Olympic Games. As I remember it the AAU Committee was meeting and were dolling out
positions for the 1971 Team management and coaching positions. When someone nominated Eldon Fix, who was from a small Oregon school and was a long time AAU "plugger" was nominated for head coach:
But, Olympic Coach for 1972 - Bill Bowerman, shot up out of his chair and said "You can't choose Eldon Fix, He's a potato head!!
The guys on either side of Coach Bowerman, tried to restain him and get him back into his chair.
So, much for Bowerman's disdain for AAU croniism !