George Dales has compiled a long record of service to the sport of track & field in a variety of roles, including as a coach, as a conference commissioner, and as president of the International Track & Field Coaches Association.
A 1942 graduate of Miami University (Ohio), Dales began his coaching career in the U.S. Navy during World War II as an Athletics and Physical Education Specialist. After his military service, Dales worked as a high school coach in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1953, Dales moved to the collegiate ranks as head track & field coach at Western Michigan. During his tenure, Western Michigan won back-to-back NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1964 and 1964, and accumulated 12 Mid-American Conference titles in track & field and another eight in cross country. Dales’ overall coaching record at Western Michigan was an impressive 113-35 in dual track meets and 79-13-1 in cross country.
Bronco athletes earned 25 All American honors in cross country and track & field under Dales’s leadership. Among the many athletes he coached was Ira Murchison, world record holder in the 100m and 1956 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 4x100m. Murchison also captured the NCAA 100 yard dash title in 1958.
Since his retirement, Dales has served as the commissioner of the Central Collegiate Conference and as the President of the International Track & Field Coaches Association. Dales is honored in the Miami University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Western Michigan University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, and with the USTFCCCA George Dales Award, which goes annually to an individual who has enhanced the coaching profession of the sports of cross country and track & field.