A collegiate head coach for 37 years at Fordham University and Yale University, Bob Giegengack also twice served in coaching roles on U.S. Olympic Teams and coached the first U.S. national team to go to mainland China.
Giegengack began his intercollegiate career as a runner at Holy Cross College. He graduated in 1929 and began coaching at the high school level. In 1938, Giegengack took over the head coaching position at Fordham, becoming the youngest head coach in the country at a major institution. Giegengack’s 1941 team won the IC4A championship, but his time at Fordham was cut short by World War II. He served in the Navy until 1945, and in 1946, Yale offered Giegengack its head coaching position.
Giegengack remained at Yale until his retirement in 1972. During that time, his teams won four IC4A championships and compiled a 186-121 dual and triangular meet record. He also coached a number of talented individual athletes during his career, including Olympic Bronze Medalist Jim Fuchs, Olympic Silver Medalist Wendell Mottley, and Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist Frank Shorter. Giegengack was honored for his accomplishments with a U.S. Olympic Team assistant coaching position in 1956 and the position of head track & field coach at the 1964 Olympics.
Giegengack was very active on the U.S. Olympic Committee and twice served as chairman of that group’s men’s track & field committee. He was inducted into the USATF Hall of Fame in 1978.