Arthur Leslie Lydiard
The great trainer and coach was born on the 6th July 1917; he was a New Zealand runner and athletic coach. He is regarded by many as one of the most excellent athletic coaches of all time, also applauded for popularizing the sports of running and making it equally famous to other sports across the globe. Most of his training operations are based on strong endurance and periodization. Lydiard came twelfth in the Men’s Marathon at the 1950 British Empire Games in Auckland, completing the race with a time of 2h: 54m: 51.6s.
Lydiard remained in New Zealand, making his name in country’s golden era in the world of track and field during the 1960s by sending Murray Halberg, Barry Magee, and Peter Snell to the podium at the Summer Olympics held at Rome in 1960. Snell went further – to the double-gold Summer Olympics of 1964 in Tokyo, still under Lydiard’s tutelage. Lydiard’s coaching methods subsequently influenced athletes like Rod Dixon, John Walker, Dick Quax and Dick Tayler.
In 1962 Lydiard was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year Honours. On 6th February 1990, Lydiard became the 17th appointee to the Order of New Zealand, one of New Zealand’s highest civil honors. He was also a lifetime member of Athletics New Zealand.
William Jay ‘’Bill’’ Bowerman
Bowerman was born on the 19th February 1911. He was among the co-founders of Nike, Inc. Bowerman was a great American track and field coach, training twelve American record-holders, twenty-two NCAA champions, thirty-one Olympic athletes, and sixteen sub-4 minute milers. During his period as coach at the University of Oregon, he led the Ducks track and field team to victory for many seasons as well as attaining the 4 NCAA titles and the top ten finishes in the nation 16 times. Being a co-founder of Nike, he invented most of their top brands, like the Cortez and Waffle Racer. He also played a significant role in moving the company from being a distributor of other shoes brand to producing their shoes.
Bowerman held the post of head coach at Oregon University for twenty-four years, he helped the Men of Oregon to win 24 NCAA individual titles, 4 NCAA team crowns, and posted 16 top-10 NCAA finishes. His team also produced 33 Olympians, 64 All-Americans, and 38 conference champions. His set a world record in 4-mile (6.4 km) relay in 1962, with a finishing time of 16: 08.9. The record was broken by another team six years later.
Bowerman withdrew from day-to-day coaching activities to conduct fundraising for maintaining and renovating the Heyward Field grandstands which he considered necessary for hosting the Montreal Olympic Trials in 1972. He also contested for a seat in the House in Oregon Legislature as a Republican in 1970, losing by 815 votes out of 61,000 that were cast. He officially retired as head coach of the Oregon University on March 23, 1973, and passed away on the 24th December 1999.