Ken Foreman is considered by Seattle Pacific as the founding father of their athletics department and served three terms as the school’s track coach, the last of which stretched from 1985 to 2000. While with the Falcons for 37 years, he coached 159 All-American athletes and had 26 collegiate individual champions.
During his tenures at the track helm – 1950-57, 1965-78, and 1985-2000 – Foreman’s athletes made plenty of history. The man regarded as the patriarch of Falcon athletics had 13 of his women’s teams finish among the top ten in the country.
When he came to what was then Seattle Pacific College in 1949, Foreman’s duty was that of junior-varsity basketball coach. He did that for three years, and then moved up to head basketball coach and athletic director.
Foreman also founded the Falcon Track Club in 1955 and served as the squad’s coach until 1999. Foreman founded the SportsWest Track Club, which he directed from 1977-1998. Foreman’s Falcon TC squad captured the AAU cross country title in 1972, and he is well known for coaching USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Doris Brown Heritage who was a five-time World Cross Country champion in the late 60s and early 70s.
Olympians he coached included Kelly Blair-LaBounty, Lorna Griffin, Pam Spencer and Sherron Walker. Foreman-coached athletes won 14 AAU titles (outdoor, indoor, cross country) and one AIAW title. Foreman was named the U.S. women’s head coach for the 1980 Olympic Games, and served as the Team USA head coach at the 1983 World Outdoor Championships. He was the U.S. World Cross Country Team coach in 1967, 1970 and 1973, served as the AAU Women’s long-distance running chair from 1968-1974, and was the recipient of the AAU/USATF Joseph Robichaux Women’s Track & Field Award 1978.
In 2009, Foreman was inducted into USA Track & Field’s Hall of Fame.
Foreman served in World War II in the U.S. Coast Guard and while on duty he decided that upon returning he would become a teacher and coach. He would later attribute that decision to his own high school coaches, saying that he would not be the man he was without them.
Foreman retired but was a high school track & field and cross country coach well into his 80s.
Foreman passed away in December 2018 at the age of 96.