Nov. 21, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Former Purdue throws coach Gene Edmonds will be inducted into the USATF National Officials Hall of Fame on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. Edmonds is one of three individuals selected for induction in the seventh annual ceremony.
Edward “Gene” Edmonds led the Purdue throwers in the 1990’s and tutored several elite Purdue throwers, including National Champion, two-time All-American and five time Big Ten Champion Toyinda Smith. Edmonds was on the Purdue coaching staff for eight years.
Edmonds began his coaching career in 1952 in the high school ranks. He coached at Chalmers and Rensselaer until 1991 when he came to Purdue. Along with coaching, Edmonds was very involved with officiating at every level. The 84-year old Indiana State graduate has officiated countless meets from youth to Olympic, including involvement in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, among several others. The Atlanta Games marked the final time Edmonds officiated an international event.
Despite concluding his international officiating career, Edmonds is still very active in the track and field world and Purdue University. Edmonds continues to officiate events for the Purdue track and field teams to this day, including the Gene Edmonds Cup, which is an annual event honoring the legendary coach and official. The event has historically slated Purdue and Indiana State for the coveted Gene Edmonds Cup trophy. The Gene Edmonds Cup is entering its 19th season, though the event’s trophy was retired last season after the Boilermakers beat the Sycamores for the 18th-straight year. This season’s Gene Edmonds Cup, slated for Jan. 11 inside Lambert Fieldhouse, will feature Mississippi and Louisville in a three team meet. Edmonds plans to officiate.
Edmonds also continues to officiate meets for St. Joseph’s College, Indiana and IPFW.
“Gene is a relic in the sport of track and field, in not only Indiana, but around the country,” Purdue head track and field coach Lonnie Greene said. “He is well known at all levels, from youth to Olympic. Gene is well respected, an outstanding coach in his own right, and one of the best officials in the game. It’s an honor that, in my opinion, is long overdue. I’m thankful he is going to enter the Hall of Fame and we are very proud of the man who has done so much for the sport.”
Edmonds will enter as a member of the Indiana Track and Field Association. He will be joined by Edward R. Koch and Gary A. Westerfield. Koch is a member of the New Jersey Association, while Westerfield is in the Long Island Association. The Class of 2013 joins 38 individuals who have been inducted since 2007. Edmonds’ class is tied for the smallest group, along with the 2012 inductees.