Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Track & Field
Inducted: 2004
Country: USA
Born: March 24, 1928, in the Bronx, New York
Died: March 25, 2018

Mel Rosen was head coach of the 1992 United States Men’s Olympic Track & Field Team, guiding U.S. runners to eight gold medals, five Olympic records, and three World records. The 20 United States’ track & field medals won at the Barcelona Games represented the U.S. men’s best track and field showing since the 1956 Olympics.

During his 28 years as head coach at Auburn University (Alabama), Rosen coached seven Olympians, 147 All-Americans, 63 Southeast Conference indoor and outdoor champions, and eight NCAA champions. Among the great Tiger sprinters who developed under Rosen’s tutelage are Olympic gold medalists/world record holders Harvey Glance and Willie Smith.

A Univeristy of Iowa middle distance runner as a college undergraduate (graduated 1950), Rosen was a track assistant coach at his alma mater before and after a stint in the U.S. Army. In 1955, Rosen enrolled at Auburn to complete his PhD, and gather additional coaching experience by joining the staff of Auburn men’ track and field coach Wilbur Hutsell. When Hutsell retired in 1963, after 42 years as head coach,* Rosen was elevated to the top spot, a position he held until 1991, when he was appointed head coach of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team. (*The years 1989 to 1991, Rosen coached both the Auburn men’s and women’s track and field teams.)

Among his major track assignments: Rosen was head coach of the 1976 U.S. team at the Baron de Coubertin Games in Buenos Aires; manager of U.S. track at the 1977 World Games, Sofia, Bulgaria; manager of the 1979 U.S. Pan American Games team in Puerto Rico: head coach of U.S. track for the 1977, 1981, 1989, 1993 Maccabiah Games in Israel; head coach of U.S. track at the 1980 Eight-Nation Meet (Olympics alternative) in Tokyo; assistant coach of U.S. track at the 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles; 1987 head coach of the U.S. team at the World Track & Field Championships in Rome; and head coach of U.S. track and field at the 1991 World University Games in Sheffield, England.

His numerous honors include election to the following Halls of Fame: U.S. National Track & Field (in 1995, the first year he was eligible), USA Track Coaches Association (2001), Alabama Sports, University of Iowa Track & Field, and City of Auburn Tiger Trail. He was 1979 NCAA and Southeastern Conference indoor and outdoor ‘Coach of the Year’, 1980 NCAA indoor ‘Coach of the Year’, and SEC indoor ‘Coach of the Year’ in 1985.

Coach Rosen is recipient of the U.S. Giegengach Award for contributions to track and field; received the USATF President’s Award; been Chairman of USATF Men’s Track and Field Committee: President of the NCAA Track and Field Committee; and a member of the USATF International Competition Committee.

Rosen co-authored Track: The Running Events, published by Sports Illustrated, with sportswriter and daughter Karen Rosen.
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