KU Track Alum Inducted into USATF Officials Hall of Fame

Dec. 1, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Former University of Kansas track & field sprinter, Kelly Rankin, was inducted into the U.S.A. Track and Field Officials Hall of Fame Friday after serving as one of the most well-known and well-respected track & field officials in the U.S. from 1968-2011. Rankin served as the head starter for two Olympic Games, three U.S. Olympic Trials and 10 NCAA National Championship meets throughout his 43-year career.

Rankin, who competed for head coach Bill Easton as a sprinter and on relays at KU from 1958-60, retired in December of 2011. The Clay Center, Kan., native officiated hundreds of meets over that span ranging from international, national, collegiate and high school levels. Highlighting Rankin’s events as a head starter were the 1984 and 1996 Olympics. To this day, he is the only American in Olympic history to be named head starter for two different Olympic Games.

Also a staple at the Kansas Relays, Rankin spent time as a head starter in four KU Relays ranging from 1971-1975. He moved from Kansas to Oregon in 1976 where he officiated dozens of U.S. Olympic Trials, NCAA Championships, Conference Championships and University of Oregon meets as well as meets across the nation.

Rankin joins 11 KU track & field legends who have been inducted into the USATF Athletics or Coaches Hall of Fame, but is the first to be inducted into the Officials Hall of Fame. He joins former KU coaching legends Bob Timmons, Bill Easton and Karl Schlademan as well as Jim Ryun, Billy Mills, Al Oerter, Wes Santee and several other Jayhawks to have their names enshrined in Washington Heights, N.Y.

The Officials Hall of Fame was created as a means of recognizing and honoring those officials who have provided many years of outstanding and dedicated service to track & field at all levels.