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Dean Cromwell

Photo of Dean Cromwell

Inducted: 1974, coach

Born: September 20, 1879 - Turner, Oregon
Deceased: August 3, 1962

Career Highlights

  • As track coach, Cromwell's teams at University of Southern California won 12 national collegiate titles, including nine in a row.

Nicknamed "Maker of Champions," Dean Cromwell was the head coach at the University of Southern California for 39 years, developing a track and field heritage that still exists. Cromwell participated in track and field and played baseball and football at Occidental College, from which he graduated in 1902. After working for the telephone company for seven years, he became head track and football coach at USC in 1909. Over the next 39 years, his track teams won 12 NCAA championship, including 9 in a row from 1935 through 1943. They also won 9 IC4A titles. From 1939 through 1948, USC lost only three dual meets. During his tenure, USC athletes won national college titles and 38 National AAU crowns. They also set 14 individual world records plus three more in the relays. He coached 10 Olympic gold medal winners, including at least one at every Olympics from 1912 through 1948, and had 36 U.S. Olympic team members. Among his athletes were such fellow Hall of Famers as Charlie Paddock, Bud Houser, Mel Patton, Vern Wolfe and Frank Wykoff. Cromwell retired in 1948 after coaching the U.S. Olympic team to 10 gold medals.

undergraduate: Occidental (Los Angeles, California), 1902


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