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This site it to show who and what was happening at the University of Kansas in the mid-fifties when I and a number of other young men ran on the track team for coach Easton.
The 1950's were the hay-day of track and field at the University of Kansas. This site hopefully will better illustrate some of the folks involved in the program and some of the accomplishments made.

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 1947-1965, Easton's KU teams won 39 conference championships, including one stretch of eight years from 1952-1959, when his Jayhawks won the conference title in all three sports. His outdoor track teams won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1959 and 1960. 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. * Kansas University's long time Track and Cross Country coach (1947-1965) * His KU teams won 39 conference championships in Cross Country and Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field * Coached KU to 1953 NCAA Cross Country Championship * Coached KU Outdoor Track and Field teams to back-to-back NCAA Titles in 1959 and 1960 * Easton coached eight Olympians, and 32 All-Americans * Easton-coached athletes at KU set four world records, four Olympic records, and 14 American records * Star pupils included Olympic Champions Bill Nieder, Al Oerter, and Billy Mills

A lot could be said about track and field in the 50's and early 60's at Kansas University. At this time in the universities athletic history, track and field was king. I attended the university from 1954 through 1958 and during this four year span the track team won the Big Seven track championship in Indoor, outdoor and cross country competition all four years I attended. This was only for the four years that I attended. The team did not lose a dual meet and won many events in the numerous relays we attended. KU teams won 39 conference championships in Cross Country and Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field during Coach Easton tenure at KU.Many great athletes attended KUm the ones listed below are now members of the KU hall of fame. You will note many of them are from the 50 and 60's era.

Lee Adams 1967 Bill Alley 1959-60 Gary Ard 1967 Dick Blair 1954 Jim Bausch 1936 Terry Beucher 1960 Les Bitner 1955 Dick Blair 1954 David Blutcher 1977 Leo Bookman 2003 Jeff Buckingham 1983 George Byers 1967 Sheila Calmese 1978 Frank Cindrich 1954 Sam Colson 1973 Glenn Cunningham 1932-3 Cliff Cushman 1960 Elwyn Dees 1935 Bob Devinney 1952 Emmett Edwards 1974 Allen Frame 1954 Theo Hamilton 1975 Herold Hadley 1965 Scott Huffman 1994 Ron Jessie 1969 Jan Johnson 1970 J. W. Johnson 1967 Roger Kathol 1970 Kristi Kloster 1996 Doug Knop 1969-70 John Lawson 1965 Eddie Lewis 1974 Mark Lutz 1974 Brian McElroy 1970 Ralph Moody 1954 Billy Mills 1964 Kevin Newell 1977 Bill Nieder 1955 Jim Niehouse 1970 Al Oerter 1957-8 Sanya Owalabi 1980 Tom Poor 1923 Terry Porter 1973 Michael Ricks 1980 Jim Ryun 1967-9 Karl Salb 1969-71 Wes Santee 1952-3 Tom Scavuzzo 1950-1 Herb Semper 1974 Ernie Shelby 1958-9 Randy Smith 1974 Dennis Stewart 1970 Charlie Tidwell 1958-60 Jay Wagner 1977 Cliff Willey 1977 Steve Wilhelm 1969-70


This is the only picture of the track squad with Wilt Chamberlin in it.

Now fifty years later the same guys from the 50's get together each year on Labor Day for a reunion. This all started about six years ago at Al Frames farm and has carried over to different locations each year. It is amazing to this observer that people who shared their lives fifty years ago still have a bond so many years later.

This year is no exception. The reunion was planned again this Labor Day in Lawrence and hosted by Dick Wilson and Al Frame.Next years reunion is being planned in Arkansas, hosted by Lloyd Koby.

I wasn't able to make the reunion in 2010 but plan on making the one in 2011.  The event this year will be held back in Lawrence.  Hope to see many of the old teammates as possible.


2009 50's Kansas Track Athletes Reunion