Dave Laut, 1984 Olympic bronze, shot put, RIP, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Dave Laut, 1984 Olympic bronze medalist, fourth in 1983 WC, and for past year, AD at Hueneme High School ( he had been track coach there for eight years), was shot and killed by an unknown intruder onto his property in Oxnard, CA, just after midnight, Thursday, August 27, 2008. He leaves his wife of 29 years, Jane and their son, Michael, age 10. No more information at this time.

I was fortunate enough to watch Dave compete a lot, living in California in the 70s and 80s. If my mind does not fail me, I do remember a party in San Jose, where Laut, Gummerson, Feurbach, Kelmenson and crew held court. I believe there was a hot tub built to seat about 40, and copious amounts of adult beverages. This was, of course, after a track meet at San Jose State. Something about throwing a guy, a former distance runner who is no longer 155 lbs. from one thrower to another, seeing how far he could be thrown. I believe we got to about ten feet. (I did get a case of beer out of it, and some great lifting tips!).

After Dave stopped competing, he moved back to Oxnard, CA, and worked at the high school ( Hueneme), where his late father was a long time science teacher. A UCLA grad, Dave Laut had won the NCAA title in the shot as well. Mild mannered, quiet, most of his neighbors knew little about his athletic career. Laut had converted his garage into a nice weight room, and worked out daily.

It is nice to know he coached high school track and was an athletic director. In my mind, the highest calling our sport is coaching high school. Dave Laut will be missed.

OXNARD (USA): Former Olympian in shot put Dave Laut was shot to death outside his Oxnard home about midnight Thursday when he reportedly went to investigate noises in his backyard, police said. An autopsy determined Laut died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head, said Armando Chavez, a senior deputy Ventura County medical examiner. He won a bronze medal at 1984 Olympic Games and had a PB of 22.02 from 1982. He was also fourth at inaugural World Championships 1983 in Helsinki. Laut was Hueneme High’s track coach for eight years before leaving for a physical education position for one year at Frontier High School in Camarillo. He was hired as Hueneme’s athletic director a year ago. He lived with his wife of 29 years, Jane, and their son, Michael, 10. Local media are reporting.

Please keep Dave, and his wife and son in your thoughts and prayers.

Link to story in LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-olympian-killed29-2009aug29,0,1387911.story

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