Reunions – 2013

17 AUGUST 2013

Coach Chuck Rohe and committee co-chairman Coppley Vickers called the meeting to order at 12:10 p.m.

In attendance were Bob Barber, Danny Brown, Steve Deaton, Charlie Durham, Gerry Eddlemon, Richmond Flowers, Bud Ford, Roy Hall, Karl Kremser, Chick McGeehan, Roger Neiswender, Chuck Rohe, Henry Rose, Paul Scott, Tom Scott, Bill Sellmer, Bill Skinner and his wife Nelda, Coppley Vickers, and John Williams and his wife Vicky.

Roger Neiswender gave a report for the Directory Committee. He mentioned that when he started working on a Rohe-era directory ten years ago, he had a list of only 44 names. Now it includes contact information for 142 Rohe-era athletes plus 11 additional friends of the program. To create a more accurate list of team members each year, Roger said that the committee is still looking for team brochures for 1969, 1970, and 1971. According to Bud Ford, the first team brochure was published in 1965. Bud said that the best gauge of team membership for each year is the team photo rather than the brochure. The brochures were completed in December of each year, and the photos were shot closer to the start of the outdoor season. Roger said that he had added the names of the track captains, but had the names of cross country captains for only one year. He said he was working on a Memorial list for those who have passed away, and is trying to find obituaries or other sources of information. Roy Hall said that he had tried to find information on Tom Gladden and knew that he died in Cedartown, Georgia. Different people volunteered that Ray Moore may know details about David Mann; that Dave Scire died in one of the Dallas, Texas, suburbs; that Steve Nelson might know details about Gordon Wilson; and that Danny Brown will find out more about Danny Smith.

Next, Bob Barber gave a report for the Website Technical Committee. He projected on a screen the home page of and talked about what had been completed so far and what will go up on the website soon. Bud Ford suggested that we should use the term All-Americas instead of All-Americans. Bob mentioned that the directory and forum would be password protected and limited to the Rohe-era athletes and friends, as approved by Coach Rohe. He said we will use the names of deceased teammates for the passwords and that the first will be something like MMaxwell62. He added that he will send a letter soon, giving everyone a chance to remove any contact information that he doesn’t want to appear in the directory. Bill Sellmer urged that we send a message out every year, asking people to update their directory information. Bob asked that when we submit content for the website that we do so in Word. A brief discussion was held on the use of photos and videos on the website. Bud Ford pointed out that still photos could be added at no great cost, but video clips were much more expensive. Someone mentioned that Norm Witek had old running videos, mainly of himself. Coach Rohe mentioned that he had a sack full of films on practices. Those in attendance gave Bob a round of applause for his many hours of labor on the website and all his excellent work.

Charlie Durham gave a report on the history of the Knoxville Track Club and its growth from about fifty people in the early 1960s to around 2000 members today. The Knoxville Track Club first participated in the Piedmont Relays at Furman University in 1960. Charlie talked about its role in providing trained officials for track meets and in developing a women’s track program.
There was no report from the Electronic Newsletter Committee.

Tom Scott gave a report for the History Committee. He said that Paul Scott is working on an update to his 1967 history of the UT track program, bringing it to the end of the Rohe era. Thanks to Bud Ford, Paul was able to spend yesterday morning at the UT Athletics Department where Amanda Pruitt, the Assistant Director of Media Relations for track and field, swimming and diving, and men’s tennis, pulled a number of files that filled in gaps in his research. He spent yesterday afternoon going through microfilm on old Knoxville News-Sentinels, doing additional research. Tom mentioned that oral history is a big part of what the History Committee plans to add to the website. He mentioned that he and Coppley Vickers interviewed Coach Rohe for four hours at Coach’s condo in Highlands, NC, back in June, and that the interview was now almost all transcribed and should be available to post on the website in a few weeks. Tom also mentioned that Bud Ford had made arrangement for us with Link Hudson, the Associate Video Director for the UT Athletics Department; and that yesterday, several of us gathered in the Communications Building where Tom conducted an additional two-hour interview with Coach. The UT Broadcasting Department will keep the video for their purposes, but will make a CD available to us, and will also make it available in high resolution if we want to edit short clips for our website. We hope to make the CD available to all the Rohe-era trackmen who want one.

Henry Rose gave a report for the Financial Funding Committee. He said that $10,050 had been raised so far, and that the main expense to date was $2500 to Art Perfetti for his work in setting up the website. Coppley added that Ray Pinkstaff, an attorney and CPA, had volunteered to file the incorporation papers for us for free, although the filing fee will be about $500.

Richmond Flowers gave a report for the Dual Athletes Committee. There was a discussion of Coach Rohe’s film, The Winning Edge, on techniques, speed, etc. Richmond mentioned that modern athletes are obsessed with going professional and doing well at the pro-day combines, where such skills can be invaluable.

Several other topics were discussed briefly. Coach Rohe will work on finding a weekend for the fall 2014 reunion that coincides with a home UT football game. He will contact Chris Fuller, the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development and External Operations, to determine the best weekend.

After our website is in good shape, we hope to approach Stan Huntsman about doing a similar Huntsman-Era website to mobilize the entire track family.

In the future, we also hope to produce a Running with Rhino Rohe book, but Coach Rohe made a strong appeal to put that off and focus now on creating the best possible website.

We also discussed possibly creating a track scholarship after all the expenses for the website have been covered.

Gerry Eddlemon volunteered to collect and preserve the Don Pinkston collection of photos and posters that were on the walls of the meeting room during our mini-reunion.

There was a brief discussion of the current and future status of UT track and field and cross country.

The meeting was adjourned at about 2:45 P.M.


The Chuck Rohe Track Era

In 1962 the University of Tennessee hired a young track coach, Chuck Rohe. The next nine years, along with the Stan Huntsman era to follow, began the most successful era of SEC track & field and cross-country dominance in the school’s history.

Chuck Rohe