Ed Temple, the esteemed TSU track and field coach who’s Tigerbelles won 13 Olympic gold medals and helped break down racial and gender barriers in the sport, died Thursday night. He was 89. Temple’s daughter, Edwina, told Tennessee State officials that her father died after an illness. He celebrated his birthday Tuesday.
Temple coached the women’s track team at Tennessee State, formerly Tennessee A&I, from 1953 to 1994. He was head coach of the U.S. Olympics women’s teams in 1960 and 1964 and assistant coach in 1980.
One of the athletes he coached at TSU, Wilma Rudolph, became the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics
Temple, was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1972. He was inducted in nine halls of fame, including the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2012, where he was one of only four coaches to be inducted. He also served as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the international Women’s Track and Field Committee and the Nashville Sports Council.