ERNIE BULLARD MEMORIAL & RECEPTION
Ernie Bullard’s celebration of life memorial service will be held promptly at on the USC campus in Town & Gown Center (665 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0871: E-6 on linked campus map)on . Reception will follow memorial service.
For information contact Larry Knuth
(Editor’note: Ernie Bullard helped keep track & field alive in the South Bay in the 70s and early 1980s, and it was not an easy task. Many have fond stories of Coach Bullard, feel free to send them to me at email@example.com. We will publish some of them in an upcoming issue of California Track & Running News. )
Ernie Bullard – Coaching Great
Ernie Bullard, who had a 16-year coaching tenure with the San Jose State Spartans, died on Thursday, August 21, at age 77 in Stockton, Calif., from complications after a series of strokes and heart attacks during the past year.
Bullard came to San Jose State as the assistant track and field coach in 1968 and was named the head coach in 1970 following the retirement of coaching legend Bud Winter. Mr. Bullard served the University as head coach through the 1984 outdoor season when he moved to the University of Southern California (USC) as the men’s track and field head coach.
During Bullard’s San JosÃ© State tenure, San Jose State was well known in track and field circles as the home of “Speed City.” The Spartans won the 1969 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Knoxville, Tenn., by dominating the sprints while he was an assistant and seven Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA) team championships during his head coach reign. Six other times, San Jose State finished in the top-20 in the team standings at the NCAA Championships during his head-coaching reign.
Ron Livers, three times in the triple jump; Dedy Cooper in the high hurdles; javelin thrower Curt Ransford; and pole vaulter Felix Bohni, once in indoor and once in outdoor competition won a NCAA individual championship under Bullard’s leadership. San Jose State athletes won 85 individual and nine relay events at PCAA Championship meets. Mr. Bullard was named the conference’s Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1982.
Former world record holders John Powell in the discus and pole vaulter Dan Ripley and Olympians John Carlos, Ronnie Ray Smith, Lee Evans and Chris Papanicolaou also were among the elite world-class athletes he coached at San JosÃ© State.
“Ernie was one of the finest coaches in the history of San Jose State. He followed the legendary Bud Winter, and carried on a solid track program that was of the best in the country. He was one of the reasons that I decided to leave a fine San Jose City College program and become his assistant in charge of the sprinters and hurdlers,” said Bobby Poynter, a world-caliber sprinter for San Jose State in the mid-1950’s.
“He coached four NCAA individual champions, two world record holders and a host of other San Jose State all-time great athletes. His San Jose State teams still hold track records to this day. He does not get enough credit for being one of the best and will sorely be missed.”
Ernie was a member of the USATF Development Committee for the discus for eight years. He also conducted clinics in India in 1988 and 1994. Nine varsity, freshman, individual, and relay records were set by Trojan athletes during his USC tenure.
Ernie also authored or co-authored four field event books that were internationally reviewed and acclaimed “without reservation.” The Triple Jump Encyclopedia book (co-authored with his USC assistant coach Larry Knuth) is in 1200 libraries INCLUDING the prestigious Huntington Library. It was the first American book on the event and still is the most extensive American book on a field event.
“Ernie was a great competitor and a good friend. He had an infectious personality. He was an outstanding representative of our profession,” said Ron Allice, colleague and former head coach at USC.
The Safford, Ariz., native graduated from USC in 1959 majoring in education and from Arizona State in 1961 with a master’s degree in physical education. An accomplished pole vaulter, he finished fourth at the 1958 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Bullard embarked on a high school coaching career in 1960. He accepted his first head coaching position with Orange Coast College in 1963 and later had a similar role at Mesa Community College where he was the 1968 JUCO Coach of the Year following Mesa winning the national title.
Bullard is survived by his son, Denton, and daughter, Kari, and several grandchildren.â€‹
Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself." Theme song: Greg Allman, " I'm no Angel."