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Alice Coachman (Davis)

Photo of Alice Coachman (Davis)

Inducted: 1975, athlete

Born: November 9, 1923 - Albany, Georgia

High Jump - 1.68 m

Alice Coachman achieved her greatest fame in 1948 when she won the Olympic high jump title in an Olympic and American record of 5' 6 1/8", thus becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Her only Olympic opportunity came late, since prior competition was restricted by World War II. Coachman nonetheless won 25 national titles, most of them in the high jump where she won 10 consecutive titles from 1939 to 1948. A fine sprinter, she won the outdoor 50m dash from 1943 through 1947, the outdoor 100 meters in 1942, 1945 and 1946, and the indoor 50m dash in 1945 and 1946. Coachman also ran anchor on Tuskegee Institute's national champion 4x100m relay teams in 1941 and 1942. After Coachman won her first national championship in the high jump at age 16, Tuskegee Institute coach Cleve Abbott asked her to join his team. The following year, though still a high schooler, she moved from Albany, Ga., to Tuskegee, where fellow Hall of Famer Abbott became her coach. She later attended both Tuskegee Institute and Albany State in Georgia and after her competitive days became a schoolteacher and coach.

Records Held
Olympic Record: High Jump - 1.68 m (August 7, 1948 - )
American Record: High Jump - 1.68 m (August 7, 1948 - )

1948 Olympics: High Jump - 1.68 m (1st)
1939 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1940 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1941 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1942 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1942 US Outdoors: 100 m (1st)
1943 National Champs: High Jump (1st)
1943 US Outdoors: 50 m (1st)
1944 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1944 US Outdoors: 50 m (1st)
1945 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1945 US Indoors: 50 m (1st)
1945 US Outdoors: 50 m (1st)
1945 US Outdoors: 100 m (1st)
1946 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1946 US Indoors: 50 m (1st)
1946 US Outdoors: 50 m (1st)
1946 US Outdoors: 100 m (1st)
1947 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1947 US Outdoors: 50 m (1st)
1948 National Championships: High Jump (1st)
1941 NCAA: 400 m relay (1st)
1942 NCAA: 400 m relay (1st)

undergraduate: Tuskegee Institute (Tuskegee, Alabama)
undergraduate: Albany State (Albany, Georgia), 1946


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