Bill McClure amassed a sterling coaching record at Louisiana State University, South Carolina, and Abilene Christian. He also served as an assistant U.S. track & field coach at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
A 1939 graduate of Abilene High School, he received a B.S. degree from Abilene Christian in 1948 and M.Ed. degree from Hardin-Simmons University in 1951 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a captain and four-year football letterman for the Wildcats.
He coached at Stamford High School in 1948-49 before joining the ACU coaching staff in September 1949. He was assistant track & field coach under head coach and USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Oliver Jackson before being named head track & field coach at ACU in November 1963.
While at ACU, McClure coached 42 athletes who won All America honors a total of 63 times, including 1964 U.S. Olympic pole vaulter Billy Pemelton. In eight years as head coach at ACU, his teams won seven titles in track and cross country in the Southland Conference.
McClure left ACU in 1972 to become the head track & field coach at South Carolina. Competing as independents, the highlight of McClure’s tenure was a third-place finish at the 1974 NCAA indoor meet.
In 1977, McClure accepted the head coaching position at LSU, coaching the Tigers until 1981. The Tigers finished in the top five in the SEC indoors and outdoors seven times during McClure’s tenure, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the 1980 SEC indoor championships.
McClure’s last professional stop came as an associate athletic director and head track & field coach at Samford University in 1986; he held both of those positions until his retirement in 1996. His Samford teams won one women’s conference cross-country championship and twice finished as men’s conference runners-up.
McClure is a 1991 inductee into the ACU Sports Hall of Fame. He also served as secretary and chairman of the NCAA rules committee and as NCAA representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee.