Former Duck Track Coach Bill Dellinger Joins Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame

March 23, 2001

DES MOINES, Iowa - Bill Dellinger, the legendary University of Oregon men's track and field coach, will be inducted into the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame during an April 26 banquet at the Drake Knapp Center.

The Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame, which was established in 1977 with six charter members, now has 68 inductees.

Dellinger is known as one of the finest distance coaches in the country. He has mentored many of the country's elite distance runners including Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar, Rudy Chapa, Matt Centrowitz and Bill McChesney. His pupils have broken 18 American records, made 17 Olympic appearances, and have won 12 NCAA individual track titles.

Dellinger guided the Ducks to their fifth NCAA track and field title in 1984 and tallied 113 points, which remains an NCAA record. He has overseen 23 cross country runners earn 41 All-America honors and has had 58 track athletes earn 105 All-America honors.

The Grants Pass, Ore., native directed the cross country program for 32 years. Under his watchful eye, the Ducks won four NCAA titles, five runner-up honors and four third-place finishes, to go along with four individual titles and an individual runner-up finish.

Under Dellinger, Oregon has always been a crowd favorite at the Drake Relays. The Ducks won the 4x1,600 relay title at the 1994 and 1996 Drake Relays. Chris Nelson of Oregon captured the men's university-college division high jump crown at the 1996 Drake Relays.

The University of Oregon graduate is a two-time NCAA winner, a three-time individual conference champion, and a three-time All-American. He also competed in three Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the 5,000 meters in the 1964 Olympic Games.

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