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Track coach legend Payton Jordan dies

Original post made on Feb 6, 2009

To anyone who knew him, Payton Jordan was simply called Coach. A friend to many and an innovator when it came to track and field, Jordan was synonymous with the sport. He was the coach of the record-setting 1968 U.S. Olympic track and field team and the head coach at Stanford for 23 years. On Thursday, one of the sport's most famous personalities died at age 91.

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Comments (3)

Like this comment
Posted by Tom Jacoubowsky
a resident of Gunn High School
on Feb 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Great story Keith. Payton was a track icon in this area and throughout the country and you captured the spirit of what he meant to the sport. The track community has lost a legend.


Like this comment
Posted by Don Steffens
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I worked at Track and Field News and met Coach Jordan several times because he and my boss, Bert Nelson, were buddies. He was a sage gentleman, my like my high school and college coach (and mentor) Bob Timmons. The world will truly miss Coach Jordan.


Like this comment
Posted by Neal Moore
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

When I was helping out with track meets at Stanford 1988-1991, I watched Coach come on down and win the Masters 100m several times. It was phenomenal. The most thrilling 12-second 100m you could imagine, knowing that this white-haired, elegant, smiling "old" man was keeping himself in such fantastic shape and spirit. He really hauled. Quick steps, clean form, discipline and focus from start to finish, and back to smiling and chatting with his fellow competitors after the tape. He will always be the class act and a presence to emulate as I get older.


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