Charles “Choc” Sportsman, USTFCCCA Special Inductee
A talented head coach at the University of North Texas and San Diego State University, Charles “Choc” Sportsman won two Division II cross country titles and a Division II outdoor track & field title as head track & field and cross country coach at San Diego State.
Sportsman’s intercollegiate coaching career began in the 1930s at North Texas (then North Texas State Teacher’s College), where his team won seven Lone Star Conference Championships and held the conference record in every running event except the hurdles.
At North Texas, Sportsman famously coached “The Flying Twins” – two sets of talented identical twin brothers who set the world indoor record in a medley relay. One set of twins helped set another world record in the outdoor distance medley relay, and one of the young men set the world record in the three-quarter mile run.
In 1942, Sportsman left the coaching ranks to serve in the U.S. Navy. Following the end of the war, he returned to coaching at San Diego State, and his teams experienced new levels of success. Initially serving as the head cross country coach and assistant track & field coach, Sportsman took over the head coaching position for both programs in 1965-66. His teams then won the NCAA Division II Cross Country titles in 1965 and 1966 and the 1966 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championship.
Sportsman also coached freshman football while at North Texas and served as an assistant coach for the San Diego State football team in 1947. He is recognized in the University of North Texas Athletics Hall of Fame and the NAIA Hall of Fame, and the San Diego State track & field facility is named in his honor.