The Bowerman Trophy Design

Tinker Hatfield

Tinker Hatfield
The Bowerman Trophy Designer

The Bowerman Trophy 2019

The Bowerman is designed by former University of Oregon and Bill Bowerman‐coached track and field student-athlete Tinker Hatfield. As an athlete, Hatfield was a talented pole vaulter who held the Oregon school record in the event and finished 6th in the vault at the 1976 Olympic Trials.

Trained in architecture, Hatfield initially joined Nike® as a corporate architect. In late 1985, he moved from designing workspaces to designing Nike® products, becoming Creative Director of product design in 1989. By 1993, Hatfield had become Vice President of Nike® Design.

Hatfield is now the overseer of Nike’s® “Innovation Kitchen”. He is perhaps best known as the designer of 13 designs in the iconic line of Air Jordan shoes, but his accomplishments also include creating the first-ever cross training shoe and designing the Air Max 1.

In 1998, Fortune Magazine named Hatfield one of the 100 Most Influential Designers of the 20th century.

About the Trophy

The Bowerman trophy is a stunning, one-of-a-kind figure that embodies the spirit of Bill Bowerman, combining aspects of speed, shape, and asymmetry to forge a symbol of excellence in track & field.

In its first iteration, weighing over 35 pounds and standing at 20 inches tall and 20 inches wide, the body of the trophy is milled from a solid block of aluminum and plated with 18-karat gold. An acrylic fin is attached at the top portion of the trophy embossed with a three-dimensional image of Bill Bowerman. One of the most unique, and telling, characteristics of the trophy is its use of a rubber, waffle-shaped outsole for its bottom layer, a tribute to Bowerman’s invention of the waffle-shaped shoe sole.

Debuted just moments before the first presentation of the award’s namesake on December 16, 2009, the first trophies were presented to Galen Rupp of the University of Oregon and Jenny Barringer of the University of Colorado.

2009 Hatfield Interviews

In the following interview, Hatfield talks with Ryan Fenton of Flotrack at the 2009 USTFCCCA Convention on his role with the creation of The Bowerman, his personal background with Bill Bowerman and Nike, and how the trophy took shape:

In this portion of the interview, Hatfield describes more technical aspects of the award including its specifications and how it was made:

More Track & Field Videos on

The Bowerman Presentation Archive