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Vern Wolfe

Photo of Vern Wolfe

Inducted: 1996, coach

Born: July 14, 1922 - Garber, Oklahoma
Deceased: October 26, 2000

An outstanding coach on both the high school and collegiate levels, Vern Wolfe was one of the first exponents of weight conditioning as a training device. A pole vaulter for the University of Southern California in the late 1940s, Wolfe began his coaching career at Torrance (Calif.) High School in 1952 and spent 1955 to 1960 at North Phoenix (Ariz.) High School, where he produced national high school record holders in the pole vault, shot put and discus. Wolfe returned to USC as head coach in 1963 and remained there until retiring in 1984. His Trojan teams won seven NCAA indoor and outdoor titles, as well as eight conference titles and had a dual meet winning record of 87 percent. Six athletes who trained under Wolfe went on to win Olympic gold medals, including Hall of Famers Dallas Long (shot put), Mile Larrabee (400m) and Bob Seagren (pole vault). Wolfe also produced 24 athletes who set or tied world records and 29 individual champions.

undergraduate: USC (Los Angeles, California), 1947


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