Former Bruin Men's T & F Head Coach Bob Larsen Given Prestigious Bill Bowerman Award From The National Distance Running Hall Of Fame

July 12, 2005

Former UCLA men's track & field head coach Bob Larsen was presented the prestigious Bill Bowerman Award last weekend during festivities at the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica, NY.

Larsen received the honor at a banquet which also inducted the National Distance Running Hall of Fame's Class of 2005 - Bob Schul, Greg Meyer and Don Kardong, the seventh class inducted into the Hall.

The Bill Bowerman Coaching Award, named after the legendary University of Oregon track coach from 1949-1972, is given annually to a U.S. distance running coach who, like Bowerman himself, believes that they are more teacher than coach, constantly nurturing athletes to find the best within their mind and body. The National Distance Running Hall of Fame established The Bill Bowerman Coaching Award with Nike, Inc. in 2001 to recognize Bowerman's outstanding coaching ability, his idealism, and his inspirational guidance.

Larsen was UCLA's men's track & field head coach from 1985-99 and he also directed the Bruins' men's cross country program from 1979-99. A four-time NCAA Coach of the Year and 11-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Larsen led the Bruin men's track & field team to the 1987 and '88 NCAA Outdoor team championships. Under Larsen, the UCLA men's track & field team won nine conference titles and had a dual meet record of 118-3-1, including 12 unbeaten seasons and a 15-0 record vs. USC.

Larsen was the U. S. men's distance coach at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. His current star pupil is Meb Keflezighi, who won a silver medal in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics and is the current U. S. record-holder in the 10,000m (27:13.98). Under Larsen while at UCLA, Keflezighi, the greatest men's distance runner in Bruin history, won four NCAA distance titles in 1997 (Indoor 5000m/Outdoor 5000m/10,000m/Cross Country).

Larsen's other honors have included - 2003 induction into the U. S. Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame, 1997 Mt. SAC Relays Coaches Hall of Fame and in 1996, enshrined into the CA Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Hall of Fame.

For more information about the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica, NY, please contact Mary MacEnroe (315) 724-4525.

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