Nicknamed “Maker of Champions,” Dean Cromwell was the head coach at the University of Southern California for 39 years where he developed a powerhouse program that won 12 NCAA outdoor titles.
Cromwell was a talented athlete himself, participating in track & field, baseball, and football at Occidental College. After graduating in 1902, Cromwell went to work for the telephone company. Seven years later, he became the head track & field and head football coach at USC.
From 1909-13 and 1916-48, Cromwell led the Trojans to a record 12 NCAA outdoor track & field championships, including an unprecedented nine straight titles from 1935-43. His career dual meet record was 109-48-1, but his teams in the late 1930s and 1940s were nearly unbeatable. From 1939-48, USC lost only three dual meets.
Cromwell coached athletes to 34 NCAA individual titles, 38 AAU crowns, ten Olympic Gold Medals, 14 individual world records, and three world records in the relays. Among Cromwell’s outstanding athletes were Bud Houser, Charlie Paddock, Mel Patton, fellow USTFCCCA Hall of Famer Vern Wolfe, and Frank Wykoff.
Cromwell tutored 36 Olympians, including at least one athlete in every Olympics from 1912 through 1948, and he was selected as the head coach of the 1948 Olympic Team. He also served as President of the track coaches association from 1933-34.
Cromwell was equally successful as a football coach, leading the Trojans to a 21-8-6 mark in five seasons (1909-10 and 1916-18). Cromwell pulled triple duty in 1918 when he also coached the USC basketball team.
For his achievements, Cromwell is recognized in the USC Athletics Hall of Fame and the USATF Hall of Fame.