Douglas “Buddy” Fowlkes was the head track & field coach at Georgia Tech for nearly three decades (1965-1992). Fowlkes’ list of accomplishments include three Olympic medalists, two World Record holders, 10 NCAA national champions, 50 All Americans, 77 Atlantic Coast Conference champions and 126 All-ACC selections.
Fowlkes made a name for himself at Georgia Tech as an athlete before earning his reputation as a coach. He remains one of only two athletes to ever win high point honors in three SEC track & field championship meets (Harvey Glance, now the head coach at Auburn, is the other). He set SEC all-time individual high-point honors that stood for 33 years and won the SEC long jump title three times.
Returning to his alma mater as head track & field coach, Fowlkes repeated his pattern of success. He was named ACC coach of the year twice, and he was honored as the 1985 NCAA Indoor Southeast Coach of the Year. He coached national champions, world record holders, and Olympic Gold Medalists. Among his accomplished students was former world record holder and Olympic Gold Medalist Antonio McKay.
In addition to serving as Georgia Tech’s long-time track & field coach, Fowlkes also served the city of Atlanta as a member first of the city’s board of aldermen and later as a member of city council. He was instrumental in bringing the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta.