2016 Hall of Fame Inductees
Tom Tellez– One of track and field’s great coaches, Tom is synonymous for speed and the sprinting and/or jumping success of all time greats like Carl Lewis, LeRoy Burrell, Joe DeLoach, Kirk Batiste, Mike Marsh, Frank Rutherford, Lamont Smith, Willie Banks – dominant spring and horizontal jumps group in the US and World-Wide, but Tellez’s coaching reach is far broader than sprints. It also reaches far beyond World Championships and Olympic Medals in the sprints, long and triple jump. Rarely noted, Tom Tellez also coached top pole-vaulters, Francois Tracanelli, Dick Railsback, Alicia Warlick, and former American Record holder, Olympic Silver medalist and Pole Vault Hall of Famer, Mike Tully. Coach Tellez’s impact on Track and Field and the Pole Vault is immeasurable. His approach has been unwavering, weather sprinting or pole vaulting, “There has to be a biomedical reason why you do everything — I had to give a reason to athletes as to why I wanted them to do things in the way I was telling them to do it.” Tom Tellez’s focus has always been as a coach he is a teacher. Before the attention and glamour of World Championships and Olympic Games he coached Buena Vista High School, Fullerton Junior College, UCLA, University of Houston and true to this day, well into his eighties Coach Tellez can be found coaching high school freshman on proper running mechanics – sometimes in the street. What makes coach Tellez so special and his coaching reach so broad is his compassion and drive to teach. “I wanted to be a coach. There was no doubt in my mind. I had a pretty good athletic career but . . . My main goal was to get a degree and start coaching . . . I had to study very hard to make the grades.” His motivation has never been for money, fame, or medals, only to teach. As a teacher, Coach Tellez has always felt that it is far more important to leave a lasting impression than to coach a few great athletes and for that reason he has spoken at countless clinics and camps and over the years; has published a number of papers and journals focused on sprinting and jumping. It has been one of my greatest pleasures to know Tom Tellez.
Scott Huffman– How many people in any sport or any disciple have a particular technique named after them? Well, in the pole vault there are 2 Worldwide. One of them is Scot Huffman – the “Huffman Roll” born out of pure will to clear the bar. As his pole speed slowed down near the end of his vault he would half bail-out and half try to make the bar, dropping one leg while pressing the other skyward, Scott would launch himself off the top of the pole pressing his leg skyward in efforts to pull his body upward and rolling himself over the bar, similar to the old ‘Western Roll’ High Jump style. Sometimes he cleared and other times he pulled the bar down with him – it’s a feat you have to see to believe. What’s more impressive than the performance of actually pulling off his ‘Huffman Roll’ is the level at which he vaulted. When we think of pole vaulters, we always think about larger than life athletes, Scott stands 5’9” but dedicated his career to being as efficient as possible he, and to this day he remains one of Americas highest Vaulters ever. Not always using his signature style Scott was a 3-time Olympic Trails competitor – 3-time USA Track and Field National Champion – an Olympian – and former American Record Holder at 19’ 7” (5.97m), which at the time placed him 3rd highest vault of the year! Scott had a terrific and long pole vault career and remains to this day one of the highest American Vaulters ever.