Wilbur Hutsell, USTFCCCA Special Inductee

As head track coach at Auburn University for 42 years, Wilbur Hutsell developed some of the finest hurdlers in the world, including fellow USTFCCCA Hall of Famers “Weems” Baskin and Percy Beard.

Hutsell was Auburn’s first head track & field coach, taking over the program at its inception in 1921 and remaining there until his retirement in 1963. Over his career, Hutsell’s teams compiled a 140-25 (.848) dual meet record and won three Southeastern Conference team titles. He coached four Olympians – 400m runner Snitz Snider in 1928, Beard in 1932, steeplechaser Whitey Overton in 1948, and discus thrower Jim Dillon in 1952. He also served as the trainer for the 1924 Olympic wrestling team and was an assistant track coach at the 1928 Olympic Games. Hutsell also scouted talent for the Auburn football team.

Hutsell is well-known for creating one of Auburn’s campus traditions – the annual “cake race” during Homecoming Week. Hutsell began the race in 1929 to scout freshman talent for the track team. Today, men and women compete in the race for one of 40 cakes awarded to the top finishers.

Hutsell served as President of the track coaches association from 1941-42. In recognition of his achievements, he was inducted into the USATF Hall of Fame in 1975, and the track & field complex at Auburn is named in his honor.

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