During the late 1960s, San Jose, California earned the nickname “Speed City” largely due to the efforts of Lloyd “Bud” Winter. As head track & field coach at San Jose State University for 35 years, Winter tutored some of the fastest athletes in track & field history.
Winter arrived in San Jose in 1940 but left to serve in the Navy during World War II. He helped prepare World War II pilots by teaching them relaxation techniques that would aid them during combat. In addition, he invented a life jacket that inflated upon contact with water, an important life-saving technology.
With the war over in 1945, Winter returned to San Jose and began teaching physical education and coaching the cross country and track & field teams at San Jose State. In all, Winter coached 102 All Americans, 27 Olympians, 49 NCAA record holders, and 37 world record holders. Among these athletes were such notable competitors as Ray Norton, Bob Poynter, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Lee Evans, and Larry James.
However, Winter’s talents were by no means limited to the sprints. He also coached Greece’s Chris Papanicolaou, the first man to pole vault 18 feet, and his 1962 San Jose squad won the NCAA Cross Country title.
Winter organized the first international coaches’ clinic in 1956, and he also authored several coaching manuals, including So You Want to be a Sprinter, one of the leading works on the subject. From 1956-57, Winter served as President of the track coaches association, and in 1960, he served as an assistant on the U.S. Olympic Team coaching staff. Winter also developed the innovative Operation Gym Suit, which sent American athletes overseas as goodwill ambassadors. Winter’s many achievements are honored in the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame and the USATF Hall of Fame.