HOUSTON – Legendary Rice track & field coach and student-athlete Steve Straub, as well as 2016 Rice Track Calendar Honorees, will be honored on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 at the “R” Room of Rice Stadium at the inaugural event of The PR Club.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. with an open bar, catching up and prevarications; followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the start of the program at 7:45 p.m. Cost of the event is $50 per person with limited seating. All proceeds benefit the Rice men’s track and field program. Tickets can be ordered at https://signup.rice.edu/prclub/ or by calling Lizzie Yoshida at 713-348-2864 to RSVP by Nov. 2, 2015.
Steve Straub was an outstanding middle distance runner for the Rice track and field team before graduating in 1972. He set the school record in the 880-yard run (1:48.6) in 1969 and won the Southwest Conference championship in the half-mile in 1970.
As a member of the mile relay team, Steve earned All-American honors three times in his illustrious career. The Owls relay squad placed second in the nation in both 1969 and 1970 and sixth in 1971. Also in 1972, Steve placed seventh in the open 400 at the NCAA Championships.
In 1969, Steve, along with teammates Bill Askey ’70, Conley Brown ’69 and Dale Bernauer ’70, ran what was then the Rice record in the mile relay (3:04.7). This converts to a 4x400 relay time of 3:03.86, a record that lasted 18 years and is currently the fourth-best mark of all-time at Rice. Additionally, Steve set the school record in the half-mile on three occasions and he still ranks sixth all-time at Rice in the outdoor 800 meter (1:47.61) and 11th all-time in the outdoor 400 meter (46.27).
A highlight of Steve’s athletics career took place at the 1972 U.S. Olympic trials, where he made the finals in the 800 meter. After graduating, Steve spent two years in private business before returning to his alma mater in 1974 as assistant cross country and track coach. He would become the head Rice track coach from 1979 to 1995. During Steve’s tenure as head coach, his teams produced seven NCAA champions, 16 athletes that compiled a total of 44 individual All-American awards and nine relay teams that earned All-America status. During Steve’s final year at the helm, the team won the SWC Indoor championship.
The PR Club, which is dedicated to promoting Rice University men’s track & field and cross country excellence, is the Sports Interest Group of the Rice Athletics Fund that supports the Rice men’s track & field and cross country programs through financial contributions. Funds raised by The PR Club cover approved costs such as equipment, travel, medical care, etc. A donation of $1,000 or more to The PR Club or to a men’s track & field endowment will include two tickets the event and a shirt.