Robert Taylor (sprinter born 1948)

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For other people named Robert Taylor, see Robert Taylor.
Not to be confused with Robert Taylor (sprinter born 1953).
Robert Taylor
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1972 Munich 4 x 100 metres
Silver 1972 Munich 100 metres

Robert Taylor (September 14, 1948, Tyler, Texas – November 13, 2007, Houston, Texas) was an American track and field sprinter, winner of the gold medal in 4×100-meter relay at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He is the father of NFL player Bobby Taylor.

Career[edit]

Taylor won the AAU championships in the 100-meter dash in 1972.[1]

At the Munich Olympics, Taylor was second in the 100 m.[2]

On the way to the final, Taylor was unwittingly a participant in the first athletics controversy of his career. Unlike his teammates Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson, Taylor was narrowly able to reach the start of his quarter-final race, when their coach Stan Wright unknowingly used an outdated Olympic schedule and failed to deliver his athletes to the track in time. As Taylor told it in a 2000 interview with the Tyler Morning Telegraph.,[3] the three athletes and Wright had left the Olympic village for the stadium in time for their quarter-final runs. Whilst waiting for the bus to transport them, they wandered into the ABC-TV headquarters where they saw to their utter horror the athletes lining-up for the first heat, Robinson's heat. A frantic dash to the stadium ensued in a car driven by the ABC-TV employee Bill Norris. Both Robinson and Hart, who was scheduled to run in heat 2, were too late to run. Taylor, who was scheduled to run in heat 3, only had time to rip-off his sweats, put on his running shoes, and do a couple of knee bends before running

Taylor also ran the second leg in the American 4x100 m relay team, which won a gold medal and equalled the United States' own world record of 38.19.[4]

World rankings[edit]

Taylor was voted by the experts at Track and Field News to be ranked among the best in the USA and the world in the 100 meters sprint event in the period from 1969 to 1972.[5][6]

100 meters
Year World rank US rank
1969 10th 5th
1970 - 6th
1971 - -
1972 2nd 1st

Personal life[edit]

Taylor graduated from Emmett J. Scott High School in Tyler, Texas in 1968.[3]

He then attended Texas Southern University and graduated with a degree in education.[7]

After graduation, Taylor was a teacher first at Hogg Middle School in Tyler, then moved to Houston to teach special education. At the time of his death, he was teaching in Missouri City, Texas.[3]

Awards[edit]

As well as participating at an Olympics, which Taylor has said was "the highlight" of his athletics career, Taylor was a respected family man, athlete and teacher.[3] He received the following accolades:

  • All-Southwestern Athletic Conference and NAIA All-American.[3]
  • Inducted in 1973 into the Outstanding College Athletes Hall of Fame.[3]
  • In 1996, inducted into the Texas Southern University Hall of Fame.[3]
  • Inducted in 2007 into the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Hall of Fame.[3]
  • Southwestern Conference Hall of Fame.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/archive/usa-nat-champs-history.html A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2003, Track and Field News, Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. ^ 1972 Olympic Games 100m Men on YouTube
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i http://www.tylerpaper.com/article/20071114/NEWS08/71114022 tylerpaper.com,'Tyler Olympic star Robert Taylor dies.' by Phil Hicks, 14 November 2007. retrieved 26 February 2012.
  4. ^ Munich 1972 4x100m men on YouTube (amateur footage)
  5. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters". Track and Field News. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters". Track and Field News. 
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/16/sports/16taylor.html 'Robert Taylor dies at 59; Won 2 medals in 72 Olympics.' by Frank Litsky, NY Times, 16 November 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2012.

External links[edit]