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Thread: Hal Davis, Wilbur Ross dead

  1. #1
    Senior Member kitkat1's Avatar
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    Mar 2003

    Unhappy Hal Davis, Wilbur Ross dead

    News & Notes, Volume 8, Number 72

    Tom Surber
    Media Information Manager
    USA Track & Field

    National Track & Field Hall of Famer Davis dies

    One of the finest sprinters in U.S. track and field history, Harold "Hal" Davis, diedSunday night in Lakeport, Calif. He was 86.

    Although the prime of his competitive career came during World War II, which kept him from receiving the recognition he would have otherwise received, Davis' numerous accomplishments on the track earned him induction into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1974.

    Davis rightfully held the title "World's Fastest Human," winning just about every major sprint title over a four-year period.

    In 1941, Davis tied Jesse Owens' world 100m record of 10.2 while a student at Salinas Junior College under Hall of Fame coach Bud Winter
    . He then transferred to the University of California, where he was coached by another Hall of Famer, Brutus Hamilton. There, Davis won the national collegiate 100 and 220-yard titles in 1942 and 1943. Overall, he won the AAU 100 title three times and was a four-time champion in the AAU 200 meters.

    Nicknamed the "California Comet," Davis first came to attention while in high school, where he ran the 100 yards in 9.7 and the 220 in 21.0. In one of his first major college races, the NCAA 100-yard dash final, he stumbled, fell to the ground, recovered and made up five to seven meters on the field in finishing fourth. Thereafter, the only major race he lost was in the 1941 AAU 100 meters where he was narrowly beaten by fellow Hall of Famer Barney Ewell.

    A poor starter, Davis was known for his fast finish and was at his best in the longer 200- meter race, in which he ran 20.4 on a straight course and was twice timed in a wind-aided 20.2. In 1946, he sustained a serious hamstring injury and never again attained top form.

    Services are pending.

    Legendary hurdles coach Wilbur Ross dies

    Recognized throughout the world as one of the premier hurdles coaches in history, track coach Wilbur Ross died on Friday, August 10, in Hollywood, Fla. He was 80.

    Ross, who mentored such luminaries as National Track & Field Hall of Famers Greg Foster, Roger Kingdom and Renaldo Nehemiah among many others, achieved success coaching at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Maryland State) and Winston Salem State University, where he is a mamber of its Hall of Fame. Ross was a standout athlete at Baldwin Wallace College, where he graduated in 1950 and later was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame.

    Ross, who had been hospitalized since May 16 battling several illnesses, is survived by his wife of 43 years Norma, children Pamela, Wilbur Jr., Beverett, Ricardo and Tony, along with several grandchildren.

    Services will be held Saturday, August 18 from 2-5 p.m., at Panciera Memorial Home, 4200 Hollydood, Fla., 33021. Phone: 954-989-9900.

  2. #2
    Two increadible men.

    One of the first books I bought when I started coaching was The Hurdler's Bible. It's still in my house somewhere.

    Hal Davis was Bud Winter's first great sprinter and likely the fastest sprinter in Cal history save for possibly George Anderson. Yes faster than Eddie Hart and Atlee Mahorn


  3. #3
    I was privileged to grow up in the Menlo Park - Palo Alto area, graduating HS in 1962. I got to go to the USA/USSR meet that packed Stanford Stadium for two days. And the local college meets, featuring 3 of the coaching greats -- Payton Jordan (Stanford), Brutus Hamilton (Cal) and Bud Winter (SJS). In those days, a meet between any two of those teams was a big deal, with big newspaper stories and full dope sheets going in. A dual meet between Stanford and San Jose State attracted more than 20,000 people and I still remember Larry Questad racing Tommy Smith. Too bad T&F no longer has that excitement in the USA.

  4. #4
    Administrator Charlie Francis's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by AthleticsCoach
    Hal Davis was Bud Winter's first great sprinter
    I didn't know that Hal Davis was coached by Bud Winter.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Francis
    I didn't know that Hal Davis was coached by Bud Winter.
    Yep. As legend has it Winter found Davis picking lettuce and brought him to Hartnell (the Salinas) JC. I think that this was Winter's first coaching job.

    After 2 years there, he transferred to Cal where he was joined by Grover Klemmer who tied the world record for 440yds held by Ben Eastman. Klemmer went on to break the 400m record running 46.0, but is was one turn.

    So for a time Cal had two sprint world record holders, though the 440yds/400m was not really viewed as a sprint in those days.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Francis
    I didn't know that Hal Davis was coached by Bud Winter.

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