Vern Wolfe was the University of Southern California’s head track & field coach for 22 years, winning seven NCAA championships, including five outdoor titles (1963, 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1976) and two indoor crowns (1967 and 1972).
Wolfe began his intercollegiate athletic career as a pole vaulter at USC in the early 1940s. His career was interrupted by World War II, but Wolfe returned to USC after the war and continued his athletic success. In 1952, he accepted the position of head track & field coach at Torrance (CA) High School. Three years later, he accepted the same position at North Phoenix (AZ) High School, where he remained until 1960. Wolfe was highly successful as a high school coach, with athletes setting national records in the pole vault, shot put, and discus.
In 1963, Wolfe returned to his alma mater, where he remained until his retirement in 1984. He compiled a 105-17-1 record in dual meets (.858), won eight conference crowns, and posted seven unbeaten seasons during that time. His athletes also won 33 NCAA outdoor individual and relay titles, and six athletes who trained under Wolfe won Olympic Gold Medals, including Dallas Long (shot put), Mike Larrabee (400m), and Bob Seagren (pole vault). In addition, Wolfe produced 24 athletes who set or tied world records.
Wolfe is honored for his achievements in the Mt. SAC Relays Hall of Fame, the USC Athletics Hall of Fame, and the USATF Hall of Fame.