WYLIE, Texas - The Rice Owls men's track and field program will be well-represented at the Texas Track & Field Coaches Association's 7th Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday evening at the Crowne Plaza-Addison.
Rice legends Fred Hansen and Fred Wolcott will be enshrined into the Texas Track Coaches Hall of Fame as athletes, while Emmett Brunson and Jack Patterson will be inducted as coaches.
In addition, current Rice men's track and field head coach Jon Warren will be introducing Hansen while women's T&F assistant coach David Butler will be holding a pole vault clinic and a presentation.
Hansen became the first and still only Rice athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, doing so in the pole vault at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. While at Rice, prior to the Olympic Games, Hansen had a remarkable track and field career. He was the 1962 NCAA Pole Vault national champion, a three-time NCAA All-American in the pole vault, and was the Southwest Conference champion in the pole vault and long jump in 1962. The following year (1963), Hansen also won the Bob Quin Award, the highest honor a Rice athlete can achieve.
As a collegiate star at Rice, Wolcott won the NCAA 120y hurdles title in 1938 and 1939, and the NCAA 220y hurdles crown in 1938, 1939 and 1940. Wolcott, who won 10 Southwest Conference gold medals as a collegian, was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1958. Although the prime of Wolcott's outstanding career occurred when there was no Olympic Games because of World War II, his accomplishments stand as a testament to one of the greatest hurdlers of all-time. He broke world records seven times during the late 1930s and early 1940s and was the first man to hold IAAF world records in the high and low hurdles at the same time.
Brunson was both a champion on his own and a coach of champions during his time at Rice. He helped win the 1928 Southwest Conference track title, Rice's first major championship, by winning the 1.5 mile. Brunson was track and field coach at Rice from 1935 to 1970 with time out for World War II. His teams won five Southwest Conference championships.
Patterson competed as an intercollegiate athlete at Rice in the 1930s, graduating in 1939 with a Bachelor of Science degree and a SWC individual championship in track. He would go on to have a legendary coaching career at Houston, Baylor and Texas.
Other Hall of Fame inductees on Friday include Walter "Buddy" Davis, Jim Hines, Darrow Hooper, Rafer Johnson, Carl Lewis, Bobby Morrow, Sanya Richard-Ross, Jeremy Wariner and posthumous inductions Frank Anderson, Oliver Jackson, Clyde Littlefield, Earl Meadows, Jerry Thompson and Mildred "Babe" Didrickson Zaharias.