Year Inducted: 1986
440 yards 50.00 (relay 48.8)
880 yards 1:52
1500 meters 3:40.7
2000 meters 5:10.2
3000 meters 7:59.9
3K Steeplechase 8:47.6
2 mile 8:26.4
3 mile 13:10.4
5000 meters 13:38
Bob held 5 American and 1 World record. He also won three National championships:
1963 Indoor 3 mile; 1964 Outdoor 5K; 1965 Outdoor 3 mile
Bob is the only American to have won the Olympic gold medal in the 5000 meters. He won his Gold Medal at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He began his career as a miler. He moved up to longer distances setting a world record for two miles and a USA 5,000 meter record. He was renowned for his devastating kick at the end of races and he turned a 54.8 last lap in the Olympic 5,000m.
Asthma bothered him throughout his career. He started running in seventh grade and continued through high school when he posted a 4:34.4 mile. In 1956 he started college at Miami University in Ohio where he broke the school record in the mile as a sophomore running 4:12.1
1960 ... he joined the Air Force and was assigned to Oxnard AFB in California. He ran the USA championships, placing fifth with a time of 3:55 for 1500 meters.
1961 ... Bob trained under the guidance of Hungarian coach Mihaly Igloi. Under Igloi's training, he finished third at the national championships in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Making the USA team he became the fourth fastest steeplechaser ever with a time of 8:47.8.
1963 ... he was the American Champion in the US Indoor Championships running 13:39.3 for 3 miles (5 km). A few weeks later he ran the third fastest 2 miles (3 km) ever (8:37.5) With a partially torn soleus muscle he placed third in the PanAmerican Games at 5K but the injury kept him from competing in the U.S. Championships.
Returned to Miami of Ohio in the fall of 1963. In September he qualified for the Olympic team with a win at the U.S. Olympic Trials. For the first time Track and Field News and Sports Illustrated picked an American to win a distance race. He went to the Games having the best time in the world in the 5K and the World record at the 2 miles.
1964 ... he won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in the 5,000 meters.
1965 ... Bob won the USA national title in the 3 mile, setting a new American record, running 13:10.4.
He never managed to regain his 1964 level but in Europe he did run personal bests at 1500 meters, 3:40.7 and 3K in 7:59.9. All were on cinder tracks.
In August of 1965 his knee began hurting again and Bob decided to retire from elite racing. He graduated in 1966. He still holds the Miami of Ohio school records for Mile (3:59.1), Two Miles (8:47.3) and Three Miles (13:15.6).
1971 ... he served as the National coach for Malaysia and then moved back to the U.S. re-settling in Ohio. In his spare time he continued to train club athletes. In 1978, the US Air Force sent all their top distance runners to Wright Patterson Air Force Base to train under him.
Hall of Fame inductions include: The Miami of Ohio Athletic Hall of Fame (1973); Dayton Distance Running Hall of Fame (1986); National Track and Field Hall of Fame (1991); Road Runners Club of America (2003); National Distance Running Hall of Fame (2005)
Bob became a top master runner. (33.55 10K at age 50; 76:00 for a half marathon age 50; 17:56 for 5K at age 60).
Bob is still involved in track and field as a coach. he is retired as a collegiate coach.