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Bill Easton

Inducted 2000

Bill Easton

1904 – 1997
Inducted – 2000

Kansas University’s long-time track and cross country coach, Bill Easton, earned his place among the top track and field coaches of all-time. During his 18 years as head coach in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track from 1947-’65, Easton’s KU teams won 39 conference championships, including one stretch of eight years from 1952-59 when his Jayhawks won the conference title in all three sports. His outdoor track teams won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1959 and ’60. They also had two seconds, a third and a fourth. His KU cross country teams won 16 conference championships and the 1953 NCAA title. Prior to coming to KU, Easton coached Drake University to three straight NCAA cross country titles and helped establish the Drake Relays as one of the premier track events in the world. He accomplished a similar feat for the KU Relays. Easton-coached athletes at Kansas set four world records, four Olympic records, 14 American records, 14 intercollegiate records, seven NCAA records, and two national college freshman records. His star pupils included Olympic champions Bill Nieder, Al Oerter and Billy Mills. All together, Easton coached eight Olympians and 32 All-Americans. His induction into the State of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame marks the seventh hall of fame enshrinement for Bill Easton. Helms Hall of Fame, 1966; National Track & Field Hall of Fame, 1975; U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame, 1975; Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame, 1976; Indiana High School Hall of Fame, 1977; KU Athletics Hall of Fame, 1977. Born September 13, 1904 – Stinesville, IN. Died October 4, 1997 – Kansas City, KS. Graduated Sandborn (IN) H.S., 1922; Indiana University, 1927 BA; BS 1932; MS 1935.

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