Hall of Famer Dr. Bert Lyle Dies at 83

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

May 12, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS — USTFCCCA Hall of Fame member Dr. Bert Lyle died Wednesday at the age of 83. Lyle, who was inducted into the association’s hall of fame in 2010, coached Texas Woman’s University to three AIAW titles in outdoor track & field.

Lyle, an important figure in the early years of women’s collegiate athletics, was the head track & field coach and athletic director at Texas Woman’s University from 1965 to 1988. A 1994 inductee of the school’s athletics hall of fame, Lyle led the Pioneers to three AIAW National Championships, including the first-ever AIAW Championship in 1969, and two U.S. Track & Field Federation team titles. Lyle’s squads finished in the top three of the AIAW standings in each of the first seven years of competition, and during the 15-year history of the AIAW, Texas Woman’s 465 total team points was second only to UCLA.

Lyle was the women’s sprint and relay coach for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 1992 Barcelona Games. During his career, Lyle also served as the U.S. Olympic Sprint Development Committee Chair, the USATF Women’s Elite Sprint Coordinator, and the USATF Junior Development Committee Chair for sprints.

Lyle coached athletes include Louise Ritter, a three-time Olympic high jumper and gold medalist at the 1988 Seoul Games, and Leleith Hodges, a two-time Olympian representing Jamaica.

In 2005, Lyle was presented with USA Track & Field’s (USATF) Giegengack Award for outstanding contributions to the development and success of USA Track & Field, and the larger community of the sport. USATF again honored Lyle in 2007 with the Heliodoro and Patricia Rico Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lyle, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the Korean War, earned his bachelor’s degree from Duke University, his master’s degree from Southern Methodist University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas.

The following video was the induction of Lyle into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame in December 2010. Accepting on his behalf was Louise Ritter.