Tom Deckard


IUB Athletics Hall of Fame (1992)
Z.G. Clevenger Award (1971)
Olympians (1936)
Men's Track and Field
United States of America
Location: Berlin
Event: 5,000-M-Run


Thomas M. Deckard received a BS from IU in 1939 and an MS in 1940. He was a member of the 1936 US Olympic Track Team. While working on the MS degree at IU, he served as assistant track coach and head cross country coach. From 1941-42 he was track coach at Bloomington High School.

After serving in the US Navy from 1942-45, Deckard returned to the University as freshman track coach and head cross country coach. In 1948, he became track coach and director of Drake Relays at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. After seven years at Drake, Deckard left the coaching field to enter private business in Des Moines. In 1947, he established the Flasher Barricade and Lite Co. of Indianapolis.

Deckard was a past member of the NCAA Track & Field Rules Committee and the National AAU Track & Field Committee, past president of the National Cross Country Coaches Association and the Iowa AAU, and past chairman of the Iowa AAU Track and Field Committee. in 1955, Deckard coached and managed a track team that toured West Africa for the US State Department. It was the first US team to perform in West Africa. He was a member of the IU Alumni Association, the Hoosier Hundred in the Varsity Club, and the "I" Men's Association.

Tom won cross country letters in 1935, 1936 and 1937 and was captain in 1937. He also won track letters in 1936, 1937 and 1938. He was a member of 1936 U.S. Olympic team in 5,000 meters and ran on world record four-mile relay team in 1937 Penn Relays, setting a standard that stood for six years. In the same meet, won steeplechase with a record that stood for 24 years. He was a former assistant coach at IU, head coach at Drake for 10 years, and is a Clevenger Award winner.