USTFCCCA Mourns The Death Of George Dales

George Dales, who spent more than 50 years relentlessly pursuing the growth and development of cross country and track & field, died Wednesday. He was 96.

Dales was a charter member of the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame as one of seven inaugural inductees in the Class of 1995. Eleven years later, Dales was the first recipient of the “George Dales Award,” given out each year at the USTFCCCA Convention to a deserving coach who has enhanced the profession of coaching track & field and cross country.

Back in 1942, Dales graduated cum laude from Miami University and following a three-year stint with the U.S. Navy during World War II, began his coaching career at East High School in Cleveland.

Not long after, Dales enrolled at the University of Michigan to pursue his master’s degree and then in 1953 he joined the staff at Western Michigan University as an Athletics and Physical Education Specialist. Dales would coach the Broncos until his retirement in 1970 (Dales stayed on as a professor at WMU until he stepped down in 1987).

From 1953 to 1970, Dales won two NCAA team titles in cross country and led the Broncos to 12 Mid-American Conference crowns in track & field and another eight in cross country. His athletes totaled 25 All-America honors and one Olympic gold medal, won by former 100-meter world record holder Ira Murchison in the 4×100 at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

Following his retirement, Dales remained dedicated to our sports. He was commissioner of the Central Collegiate Conference, President of the International Track & Field Coaches Association (ITFCA), Editor-In-Chief of the Track & Field Quarterly and was Secretary/Treasurer for the NCAA Division I Track & Field Coaches Association for 25 years.