Ed Temple

Statue of Legendary Track Coach Unveiled in Nashville

TOMS RIVER, NJ (September 29, 2015)—Legendary track coach Ed Temple was honored on August 28th in Nashville, Tenn., where master sculptor Brian Hanlon unveiled his latest bronze masterpiece that shows Temple kneeling on one knee with a stopwatch in one hand and a book in the other.

The eight-foot statue, which stands on a nearly four-foot-high granite base, is located in the plaza area outside First Tennessee Park, the new Nashville Sounds stadium in north Nashville.

“Ed Temple is a hero in Tennessee and abroad. He is responsible for bringing 40 Tigerbelles [from Tennessee State University] to the Olympics,” said Hanlon, who was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Art in Ocean County, N.J. earlier this year. Hanlon added that among Temple’s students was three-time Olympic gold medal winner Wilma Rudolph who was touted as the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s in spite of her premature birth and infantile paralysis due to polio.

“He was such a motivator to those women. He not only brought his own talent to the track, but inspired his athletes with his commitment to education and loyalty to their success in the face of adversity and prejudice.”

Temple, who was the author of “Only the Pure in Heart Survive” in 1980, coached 23 Olympic medalists, 30 medalists in the Pan-American Games, as well as eight National Hall of Fame Inductees. Nearly all of his Olympians have one or more college degrees.

Before becoming a coach at Tennessee State in 1950, Temple earned the distinction of All-City in track, football and basketball at John Harris High School. He then went on to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in Health and Physical Education from Tennessee Agricultural and Mechanical State College, where he also minored in Sociology.

Temple led Team USA’s women’s track & field team for the Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games and was named assistant coach for the Moscow 1980 Games among many other international team appointments.

He remained as coach at Tennessee State for 44 years before retiring after the 1993-94 academic year. Also under his tutelage were track greats Wyomia Tyus, Madeline Manning, Martha Watson, Mae Faggs, Edith McGuire, Willye White and Chandra Cheeseborough.

In the 1980s, Temple was a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and became chairman of the Amateur Sports Committee. He was also chairman of Nashville Sports Authority in the 1990s.

Among his many honors are inductions into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Helms Hall of Fame, the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, the Harrisburg Central Area Chapter Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame and the Communiplex National Sports Hall of Fame.

For additional pictures of the award presentations, please visit: Ed Temple Statue Gallery


Brian P. Hanlon is a classically-trained master sculptor and founder of Hanlon Sculpture Studio; a full-service art studio that designs, creates, and installs awe-inspiring and signature monuments featuring bronze, aluminum, stainless steel and granite sculptures, illustrative and informational graphics, and interactive kiosks.

Hanlon Sculpture Studio provides complete site design services from sculptures to hard and softscapes, and offers total project management from design to installation and unveiling.  In collaboration with administrative and athletic staff at colleges and universities, the studio develops the scope of artwork projects that are designed to enhance the spirit, pride and tradition of athletics and the campus community.