2010 November

Iron Bowl Print by Daniel Moore

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Daniel Moore (right), the 2005 American Sport Artist and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, displays is 2009 College Football Game of the Year photo with Dr. Gaylon McCullough, a center the Alabama Crimson Tide in the early 60s and teammate of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. Moore has donated paintings of the Alabama-Auburn "Iron Bowl" games from 1948-’88 when the game was played in Birmingham. Football fans can celebrate the upcoming 2010 Iron Bowl and/or just find an ideal Christmas gift for fan in their family by purchasing a framed painting of a classic Iron Bowl game for only $100.

Four-time Iditarod Champion Wins Academy's Courage Award

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Lance Mackey

Lance Mackey, the only musher ever to win the 1,200-mile Iditarod dog sled race four times, won the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Mildred “Babe” Didrikson-Zacharias Courage Award.

Mackey is the only one to win both the Iditarod and the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest in the same year (less than two weeks apart.) He is also the only one to win the Yukon Quest four times. All of these feats came after surviving throat cancer.

Born and raised in Alaska, Mackey grew up around dog mushing. His father, Dick Mackey, was one of the founders of the Iditarod, which began in 1973. Mackey’s father won the race across Alaska’s wilderness by one second in 1978. His brother, Rick, won the race in 1983.

Mackey’s dream to carry on the family name in mushing almost ended when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and underwent extensive surgery as well as radiation treatment. He started the 2002 Iditarod with a feeding tube still in place in his stomach, but had to drop out of the race halfway into it.

He took 2003 off to regroup. For the next several years, Mackey continued to run dogs and won his first Yukon Quest. In 2007, he returned to the Iditarod and won.  He would end up winning both races four times, winning both in the same year three times. Perhaps his proudest personal accomplishment is that he has been honored on both the Quest and the Iditarod for taking the best care of his dogs, who he considers to be the true champions.

The Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates courageous action in overcoming adversity to excel in sports. This individual should exhibit the qualities of courage, perseverance, grace and strength in sports achievement.

Women's Sports Pioneer Wins Academy Distinguished Service Award

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Nawal El Moutawakel

Nawal El Moutawakel, the first woman from an Islamic nation to win a medal in the Olympics, will receive a Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy.

El Moutawakel, Morocco’s secretary of state for sport and youth and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), won the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. This made her the first Moroccan, first African woman, and first Iowa State University athlete to win the gold. During her four years at Iowa State, she won four Big Eight championships, an NCAA title, and gold medals in the Mediterranean Games (twice), University Games, and African Championships.

When she returned to Morocco in 1989, she was appointed inspector at the Ministry of Sport and Youth and then became the national sprint and hurdle coach for both men and women. In 1997, she became secretary of state for sport and youth.

Throughout her professional career, El Moutawakel has used her popularity and influence to continue breaking down barriers for women. She has been an agent of change in the male-dominated Moroccan society, helping and inspiring other women to assert themselves through sport. She organized the first-ever Moroccan women’s 10-kilometer race through the streets of Casablanca, an event that now attracts more than 20,000 participants.

She has led significant change for women in sport on the international level. In addition to being a member of the IOC Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Olympic Games, she was president of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the 2012 and 2016 games, making her the first woman to serve in each of those capacities. She has also been a leader in AIDS education and tsunami relief efforts.

The Academy’s Distinguished Service Award is given annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to national or international sports through instruction, research, or service. While the DSA is separate from the Academy’s Awards of Sport, its recipients also receive the coveted Order of the Eagle Exemplar for their achievements.

Each nominee must possess an extensive background in sports. This means that the individual must have had significant dealings in instruction, research, or service in sports for more than 10 years.

Sports Journalist Evan Weiner Earns Academy's Sports Media Award

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Evan Weiner

Evan Weiner, a sports journalist/commentator known for his columns about the business and politics of sports, has been named the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award.

Weiner has been a contributing columnist for Newsday, the New York Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, Metro Philadelphia, Metro New York and the Washington Examiner. He is a re-occurring guest on “Politics Live” with Sam Donaldson.

Weiner also lectures at colleges and universities about the business and politics of sports, including the globalization of North American sports and how technology is changing sports. His book, The Business and Politics of Sports, has been critically acclaimed by academic journals and is used as part of a number of sports business management courses at schools throughout the United States.

He started his journalism career at the age of 15 by hosting a Spring Valley High School talk show on WRKL Radio, Mount Ivy, N.Y. in 1971, while also covering high school sports for the Rockland Journal News in Nyack, N.Y. By 1978, he was covering news for WGRC Radio, where he won two Associated Press Awards. In the 1980s, he started his long association with Westwood One Radio, where he had a daily radio commentary, “The Business of Sports,” that ran for eight years. Weiner has also appeared on programs on the History Channel with Al Michaels and Frank Deford, as well as the BBC Radio Documentary Sports and Sponsorship.

The Ronald Reagan Media Award, named in honor of the 40th President of the United States, is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to sport through broadcasting, print, photography or acting. The individual should exhibit imagination, excitement and genius in kindling a keen public interest and appreciation for the role of sport in modern society.

Fitness and Philanthropy: Susan Dell Wins Academy's Fitness Award

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Susan Dell

Susan Dell, co-founder and Board Chair of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, who competes in triathlons and promotes physical fitness will receive the United States Sports Academy’s Dwight D Eisenhower Fitness Award.

Susan was a member of the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports, is a trustee of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation of Central Texas and a board member of the Cooper Institute in Dallas.

Outside of her daily professional responsibilities, Susan competes in marathons, triathlons, and cycling races. Her most recent accomplishments include: in 2010 setting the record for women (all age categories) on the bike stress test at the Cooper Institute in Dallas; first woman finisher in the 2009 Kaloko Cycling Race to La La Land in Hawaii; first woman finisher while setting a new course record in the 2007 Kaloko Sprint Cycling Race; first woman finisher while setting a new course record in the 2006 Sea To Stars Mauna Kea Road Race; setting the record in the 2007 40-44 women’s age group for the Cooper Clinic stress test; finished 1st place overall for men and women while setting the course record for women in 2004, a record she then broke in 2007 in the Kaloko “La La Land” Cycling Race; and she successful competed in the 2003 Ironman World Championships.

Susan and her husband, Michael, co-founded the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. The Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. In the US, the foundation also funds childhood obesity prevention programs and a college scholarship program that recognizes academic potential and determination in students that have a definite need for financial assistance.

The Dell family foundation supports several childhood obesity prevention programs, including Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH), Consortium to Lower Childhood Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), The New York Road Runners Foundation’s Mighty Milers Program, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthy Schools Program), Marathon Kids, and The Food Trust.

Susan also was the driving force behind, and the narrator of, a book entitled, Be Well: Messages from Moms on Living Healthier Lives. The book features the stories of 15 urban moms who are creatively finding ways to fight childhood obesity in their homes and communities. The aim of the book is to make it accessible to any parent – regardless of resources or income level – who wants to start their children on a healthy path.

The Dwight David Eisenhower Fitness Award is presented to a person who has shown outstanding individual or cumulative achievement in fitness and has contributed to the growth and development of sport fitness through outstanding leadership activity.

Former Alabama Player: Iron Bowl is Not 'Just Another Game'

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Dr. Gaylon McCollough (left) and Daniel Moore

Dr. Gaylon McCollough (left) and Daniel Moore

Whether you are a player, fan, coach, sideline worker or artist, this week’s Alabama-Auburn football classic, known as “The Iron Bowl,” is no ordinary game, according to Dr. Gaylon McCollough.

The internationally-acclaimed plastic surgeon, based in Gulf Shores, Ala., commented on the game from all five perspectives. He personally experienced three: as a player, a fan and a sideline worker (medical staff).

“Given my choice, if my body could hold up, I would much rather be playing the game then watching the game,” the former All-American center said. “When the outcome of an event is important to you, and you have no contribution to the outcome of the event, it creates some unusual feelings. If you are a part of it and know you can impact the outcome, it’s a completely different thing.”

As a Thanksgiving tradition rivaling turkey dinners and Christmas shopping in Alabama, opinions run wild about this week’s battle for state gridiron bragging rights. Those who have room for Black Friday madness and the Iron Bowl in their lives this week can ease their shopping decisions by purchasing a piece of Alabama-Auburn history in the form of a Daniel Moore painting being sold by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA). Moore donated a series of paintings, one from each of the 41 games played in the era 1948 – 1988, to ASAMA, and those are available for sale at $100 each. Online purchases can be made by logging onto www.ussa.edu.

“Danny Moore has been able to go back into many of those Alabama-Auburn games and capture the defining moment of the game with his incredible paintings, so that those moments can be frozen in history, at least on canvas,” McCollough said about the work of ASAMA’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year.

Among those commenting on the rivalry this week was former Crimson Tide defensive back Willie Gaston, who told WNSP Sports Radio that the rivalry meant more to the fans than players, and that to the players it “was just another game.” McCollough laughed when he heard that comment and said he could not disagree more.

“It was the ultimate family feud,” McCollough said of the Iron Bowl. “We personally knew a lot of players on the Auburn side. Sometimes we played against them and played with them in other arenas. I played in the state high school All-Star game with many Auburn players. We wanted to beat each other in front of a stadium full of screaming fans more than anything. After the game, the feud was over. Believe it or not, I often went to dinner with members of the Auburn team after the game. We had tremendous respect for each other. It was not just another game. We had to live with the outcome of that game for 12 months.”

One aspect that might have contributed to Gaston and McCollough’s differing views is the fact that from 1948 to 1988, the game was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. McCollough played in the early 1960s. Gaston played in the early 1990s. When the game was played in Birmingham, the ticket allotments were divided evenly between both participating teams.

“That was the saddest day in history of Iron Bowl,” McCollough said, referring to the day the decision was made to make the Alabama-Auburn game a home-and-home series. “It was the Iron Bowl when it was played in Birmingham. Birmingham is one of the steel capitals of the world. Legion Field was the Iron Bowl. When it’s home and home, it’s no longer the Iron Bowl; it’s the Alabama-Auburn game. That’s not to take away the importance, but it’s a misnomer to call it the Iron Bowl now. I know it will probably never change, but a lot of people do not realize why it was called the Iron Bowl to start with. Former Auburn coach Pat Dye moved the game and it was a financial move, to ensure that Auburn fans would buy season tickets to all games to help pay for expanded stadium.

“It was a spectacle; it no longer is that spectacle. That took away from the spectacle itself, from the majesty, the pageantry of the game. Seeing a crowd of screaming fans evenly divided between red and orange is not the same as when 90 percent are for one team or another.”

One tradition does continue in the Alabama-Auburn game, and is seen throughout the country in football games everywhere. That is the tradition of players holding up four fingers at the beginning of the fourth quarter. McCollough wrote about that tradition in his book, “The Long Shadow of Coach Bear Bryant.”

“That was originated by Coach Bryant while I was at Alabama,” McCollough said. “He said it was a challenge to the players. He said ‘At the beginning of fourth quarter, if you mean it, I want you to raise your four fingers and turn to your parents in the stands and make a pledge to them that you are going to do everything in your power to see that we win the fourth quarter. If you don’t believe that, and don’t intend to do it, don’t raise your hand. If you do, make that pledge to your parents, turn to your teammates, make that pledge to them, then look across the field and make that pledge to your opponent.’

“If you go back and look historically, the outcome of most Iron Bowl games has been determined by which team wins the fourth quarter. On Friday, whenever the fourth quarter comes around, you watch players on both sides of the field raise their hands. I would venture to say not a single one knows where the pledge originated and what its true meaning is. And forever, more than likely, in Iron Bowls, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, you will see the shadow of Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant there.”

When he played for the Crimson Tide, McCollough snapped the ball to quarterback Joe Namath, who would later star for the New York Jets. Namath’s defining moment was his public prediction of victory over the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts before Super Bowl III, which the Jets did win 16-7. According to McCollough, Namath had his moments in the Iron Bowl as well as the Super Bowl.

“He was the consummate teammate,” McCollough said of the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback. “In Iron Bowl, he sacrificed personal glory for overall success and glory of the team. That’s what made his teammates respect him.

“In 1964 we were playing Auburn on Thanksgiving on national TV. We had come from behind in fourth quarter to go ahead 21-14. Quarterbacks called their own plays back then. We had the ball with three minutes left in the game. Someone came from the sidelines and said ‘Joe, one of coaches said you lack a few yards in passing to break the all-time Alabama record. He said it’s OK to throw ball if you want to. He looked up at guy and said ‘Are you out of your mind? We could put the ball in the air, get intercepted and get beat! No way!’ Individual records were not important for the Joe Namath I knew at Alabama.”

Dr. McCollough founded the McCollough Plastic Surgery Clinic in 1975. Since entering practice, he has obtained international recognition as a surgeon and teacher through his affiliation with the largest association of specialty plastic surgeons in the world. He is included in Woodward and White’s “Best Doctors in America” and “America’s Top Plastic Surgeons.” In 1989 he was elected president of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In 1980 he served as president of the American Association of Cosmetic Surgeons. In 1986 Dr. McCollough was elected president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc.

He said his experience as a college football player was an important foundation for his success in life.

“What Coach Bryant taught us was first of all to have a plan,’ McCollough said. “Have a game plan and know what you are going to do going into the game. Then have a backup plan as the game goes along. Know what you are going to do if, in the first five minutes, you are 21 points behind. Go ahead and put yourself in that situation. He also said have a plan if you look up and you are 21 points ahead in the first quarter. What are you going to do then? Have a plan. His secret to success is he out-planned and outworked his opponents. That’s what he taught his players and his coaches and those of us who played for him were able to take those lessons into our adult lives after we completed our eligibility.”

Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints, and photographs.

Exchange Club Exchanges with Academy Through Toys for Tots

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Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) with Exchange Club President Ms. Nita Stewart

Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) with Exchange Club President Ms. Nita Stewart

The Exchange Club, a local service organization that has held its semi-monthly meetings on the United States Sports Academy campus for almost a year, showed appreciation for the Academy’s hospitality with large donations to the Toys for Tots campaign.

The Academy and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Foundation are teaming up for the 16th consecutive year to help underprivileged children in Mobile and Baldwin Counties enjoy a memorable Christmas. The campaign related well to the sentiments of the Exchange Club, which spends most of the funds raised through its projects towards the prevention of child abuse.

Exchange Club President Nita Stewart said her organization has kept a box at each meeting to collect toy donations, and the donations have kept coming in since the club started meeting at the Academy this past December.

“It’s just our way of showing our appreciation to Dr. Rosandich for letting us meet here,” Stewart said.

The Exchange Club is a community service organization that sponsors projects to prevent child abuse, support youth programs and promote patriotism. Every Veteran’s Day, the club displays 300 American flags on the grounds of the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Park where people are invited to pay $25 to sponsor a flag in honor of a veteran or a departed police officer or fireman. The donors are given the option to keep the flag or pay to re-display it the following year.

“It’s been unbelievable how many people brought their flags back this year,” Stewart said.

Local residents may bring Toys for Tots donations to the Academy each Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until 10 December. The Academy encourages individuals, schools, clubs, associations, and businesses in the area to drop off their new, unwrapped toys to help assist those who need it most at this time of year.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by Marine Corps Maj. William L. Hendricks, when Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles first collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The following year, the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the concept and made it a national endeavor.

Texas A&M's Big 12-busting Upset Is College Football Game of the Week

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No. 18 Texas A&M kept No. 9 Nebraska from clinching the Big 12 North and helped the Aggies return to national prominence with a 9-6 victory over the Cornhuskers in the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Week.

A&M junior running back Cyrus Gray ran for a career high-tying 137 yards, and Randy Bullock kicked the go-ahead field goal with about three minutes left for the Aggies. Gray added a career-high 65 yards receiving in his fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing game.

Nebraska, shooting for its first Big 12 title in 11 years and last one before moving to the Big Ten next year, will have to defeat Colorado Friday for a chance at the title. A&M will need to defeat Texas on Thanksgiving to earn a potential three-way tie for first in the Big 12 South Division (if Oklahoma defeats Oklahoma State) that will be broken by the teams’ BCS rankings.

The College Football Game of the Week, voted upon by a national panel of experts, is nominated for the College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season.

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy donates the painting to the winning university, along with $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.

Academy Vice President Speaks About Youth and Sport at World Conference

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Sport can be a key in addressing global concerns about today’s youth, Dr. T.J. Rosandich told an international audience in New York earlier this month.

The United States Sports Academy Vice President talked about how sports can help guide youth away from common childhood health problems and exploitation, during a presentation given at WorldForum 2010, the 21st annual summit of the International Forum for Child Welfare (IFCW). Some 500 delegates from 40 nations gathered to take stock of current successes and obstacles, to share cutting edge research, innovative solutions, and best practices, and to plan for future action.

“Participation in sports provides a natural appeal for youth,” Dr. Rosandich said. “Properly channeled, it can be a tremendous vehicle for individual and societal development.”

He said sport encourages healthy lifestyles that can reduce chronic diseases such as those to the circulatory system and diabetes.

“Properly developed sports programs also serve to combat the exploitation of youth,” Dr. Rosandich said. “Youth are characterized by a combination of naiveté and passions that can be exploited for political purposes including mobilizing them for political demonstrations.” He also pointed out many children are exploited by criminal enterprises because penalties for criminal behavior are less for juveniles than for adults.

“Participation in sports remains one of the best tools available to instill in youth both the skills and character traits that they will eventually need to be successful in the workplace as adults,” he added.

Dr. Rosandich was invited to the conference by Matilda Cuomo, the wife of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and mother of N.Y. Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo, whom he met in April when the Academy and the Business Council for International Understanding hosted a special dinner in New York City for Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak and First Lady Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah.

Baseball Star Albert Pujols Presented Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award

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Albert Pujols accepts Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award

Albert Pujols is used to getting showered with awards in November for his on-the-field performance, but Tuesday night he was honored for his off-the-field achievements.

Jack Scharr, the United States Sports Academy’s Board of Trustees Chairman of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), presented the three-time Major League Baseball MVP with the Academy’s Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award at the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony 16 November.

Pujols was recognized for his service to people with Down Syndrome, and to impoverished people in his native Dominican Republic.

His accomplishments in baseball are well known. He is a three-time National League Most Valuable Player, two-time Gold Glove Award winner and six-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

Pujols and his wife, Deidra, whose daughter has Down Syndrome, formed the Pujols Family Foundation (PFF) five years ago, to benefit people with Down syndrome, disabilities, and/or life threatening illnesses, as well as children and families living in impoverished conditions in the Dominican Republic.

Raising a child with Down Syndrome had given the Pujols family an understanding of what families in the same situation want and need, therefore the foundation supports a variety of programs to meet those needs.

Late in the 2010 season, nearly the entire Cardinals’ active roster took time off from a pennant race with the Cincinnati Reds to attend the Country Club of St. Albans near St. Louis for the Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Classic, to raise money for and bring awareness to Foundation projects in the Dominican community of Batey Aleman. The main project, “Batey Baseball,” involves forming a baseball league in the community. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, his entire staff, Shaquille O’Neal, Bo Jackson, Bobby Knight and hockey player Barret Jacksman also attended.

Representatives of the foundation went on a fact-finding mission to Batey in February to launch the Batey Baseball and “Nest” initiative. Nest is an organization that makes micro-business loans to women in developing countries to create vocational skills and make products for the U.S. market.

The Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program, honoring “the artist and the athlete.” It is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a concern for mankind. This individual should exhibit the qualities of dedication, grace under pressure, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity that characterize the promotion of human welfare and social reform. Recent winners include 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, New York Jets running back LaDamian Tomlinson, Tiger Woods, and former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo.

Northwestern's Comeback Over Iowa wins College Football Game of the Week

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Northwestern’s two fourth quarter touchdowns knocked No. 13 Iowa out of the Big 10 title chase and earned the Wildcats the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Week.

An interception near the goal line by Brian Peters kept the Hawkeyes from increasing their 17-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa, who threw for 318 yards in the game, guided fourth-quarter touchdown drives of 85 and 91 yards.

The College Football Game of the Week, voted upon by a national panel of experts, is nominated for the College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season.

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy donates the painting to the winning university, along with $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.

World's Premier Miler in the 1950s Passes Away

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Pictured from left to right: Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (Head Track and Field Coach of the Quantico Marines); Wes Santee (Kansas); Everett Trader (Occidental); Bill Taylor (USC); and Cordell Brown (Utah State).  The above pictured individuals composed the best mile relay team in the United States in 1956.

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (Head Track and Field Coach of the Quantico Marines); Wes Santee (Kansas); Everett Trader (Occidental); Bill Taylor (USC); and Cordell Brown (Utah State). The above pictured individuals composed the best mile relay team in the United States in 1956.

Wes Santee, a Kansas track star, Olympian, and member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, died Sunday, 14 November 2010, at the age of 78 after a fight with cancer.

Wes Santee was the American record holder in the mile during a time when the world’s greatest milers all vied to break the four minute barrier in the one mile race. Those who chased the sub four minute mile included the British miler Roger Bannister, who was the first to actually succeed. Bannister was immediately followed by the Australian miler John Landy.

While Santee never did break 4-minutes, he did set four American records in the mile and wound up with a lifetime best of 4:00.5.

Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich had the privilege of coaching Wes Santee during those years as they both served in the United States Marine Corps.

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