Former Track Coach Bill Dellinger Selected to National Hall of Fame

Oct. 16, 2000

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Former University of Oregon men's track and field head coach Bill Dellinger will join three others that will be elected in December to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

Dellinger will be inducted with a trio of fellow Olympians - sprinter Chandra Cheeseborough of Nashville, Tenn., long jumper Arnie Robinson of San Diego, Calif., and shot putter Maren Seidler of Tucson, Ariz. The quartet will raise the number of inductees to 184 in the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, located in the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis.

The Grants Pass, Ore., native Dellinger (3/23/34) attended nearby Springfield H.S. before winning two NCAA titles under another Hall of Famer, former Oregon coach Bill Bowerman. He competed in the 5,000 in three Olympic Games and was the bronze medalist in 1964. He also was the 1959 Pan American Games 5,000 champion, as well as winning three national titles and setting several national records.

Joining the Duck staff as an assistant coach in 1966, he was named head track coach in 1973. Overall he led the program to one NCAA track title and four NCAA cross country titles, while his pupils included such luminaries as Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar, Rudy Chapa and Joaquim Cruz. He returned to the Olympics in 1984 as an assistant coach.

He retired from the collegiate ranks at the end of the 1998 cross country season but has continued coaching a number of post-collegians in Eugene. After suffering a stroke in early August in New Jersey, he returned home in September and is currently recuperating. Area therapists have been enthusiastic about his steady rehabilitation and hope for a near-complete recovery in the following year.

Dellinger and the other inductees will be honored at the 22nd annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, presented by Xerox, in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, December 2, during USA Track & Field's Annual Meeting at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

'It is always an honor to welcome new members to the Hall of Fame,' said USATF CEO Craig Masback. 'All represented the United States with distinction at the Olympic Games and all are worthy of this honor.'

Eligible voters included Track and Field Writers of America members, Hall of Fame members, USATF Association presidents, members of USATF standing sports committees and members of USATF's Athletes Advisory Committee.

Among the other honorees, Cheeseborough (41) won the 200 at the 1975 Pan American Games and competed in the 1976 Olympics while still a prep. After competing on the 1980 Olympic team, she claimed silver in Los Angeles in the 400 meters at the 1984 Olympics, and won gold medals in both the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays. Robinson (52) won the long jump bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics, then took the gold medal in 1976. A seven-time national champion, Robinson was also the 1971 Pan American Games champion and was second in the Pan Ams in 1975. Seidler (49) was a member of four Olympic teams (1968, 1972, 1976 and 1980) and competed internationally 21 times, one of the highest totals on record. She also raised the national shot put record 16 times, 10 times outdoors and won 19 national titles, indoors and outdoors.

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