With the NCAA Track and Field West Regionals this weekend, here’s a photo of an often overlooked figure at USC: Track coach Dean Cromwell (with Greta Garbo of course). Cromwell won 12 NCAA titles, including nine straight from 1935-43. He also coached the football team for five years for those of you who think only of football.
My favorite Cromwell story is that in the early 1940’s, he won an NCAA title by sending just four athletes to the finals and did not attend the meet himself. Legend has it the four athletes ran out of money about halfway across the country and only got to the finals when the University of Michigan paid the rest of the way.