Karl Schlademan coached men’s track & field and cross country for nearly 40 years at Kansas (1919-26), Washington State (1927-40) and Michigan State (1940-58).
A native of Seafield, Indiana, Schlademan graduated from DePauw University. On arriving at Washington State in 1927, Schlademan steadily built the Cougars into a national contender on the track. Washington State had four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Track & field Championships, including a pair of fourth-place ties (1937 and 1939). The Cougars won seven consecutive Northern Division titles and had a 39-14 dual meet record under Schlademan.
Washington State sprinter Lee Orr won a national collegiate title in the 440-yard dash in 1940, Schlademan’s final season in Pullman.
During his tenure at Michigan State, the Spartans hosted the NCAA Cross Country championships 17 times. Schlademan’s cross country teams at Michigan State won six Big Ten championships and five NCAA titles (1948-49, 1952, and 1955-56). The Spartans also finished as runners-up in 1950 and 1957.
Schlademan also served as the sixth President of the coaches association from 1939-40. He is a member of the Drake Relays Hall of Fame and also the Michigan State Hall of Fame. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Kansas Relays.
After retiring from coaching, Schlademan sold adidas shoes in Lansing, Michigan. He died in 1980 at age 90.