Clyde Littlefield, USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame Class of 1997

Last updated: December 20, 1997

The head track coach at the University of Texas in Austin for 41 years, Clyde Littlefield was on the 1952 Olympic coaching staff and developed some of the top sprint relay teams in the world during his long tenure in Austin.

As a student at the University of Texas from 1912-16, Littlefield was an outstanding athlete, achieving all-conference honors in football, basketball, and track and earning four letters in each sport. After four years of coaching at Greenville Hill School (TX), he returned to his alma mater in 1920 as head track coach, freshman football coach, freshman basketball coach, and physical training instructor.

As the Longhorns’ track coach until his retirement in 1961, he produced 25 Southwest Conference team titles, 14 runner-up finishes, 12 national collegiate individual champions, and three Olympians. His relay teams set world records in the 4×110 yard and 4×220 yard relays and posted world bests in the sprint and distance medley relay, and Littlefield served as a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic coaching staff.

He also served as the Longhorns’ head football coach for seven seasons, winning two conference titles with an overall record of 44-18-6. In 1933, however, Littlefield resigned from coaching football to focus on coaching track & field.

In 1925, Littlefield cofounded the inaugural Texas Relays. The meet was cancelled due to the depression from 1932-34 but otherwise has continued annually, becoming one of the biggest spring relay meets in the country. Littlefield was a long-time member of the NCAA track & field rules committee and also served as President of the track & field coaches association (1949-50).

Littlefield’s accomplishments have earned recognition in the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, the USATF Hall of Fame, and the Longhorn Athletics Hall of Honor. In addition, the relay meet that Littlefield cofounded and directed for 32 years is now named the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in his honor.