Bill Dellinger

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Bill Dellinger
Harald Norpoth, Bob Schul, Bill Dellinger 1964.jpg
Bill Dellinger (right) at the 1964 Olympics
Personal information
Full nameWilliam Solon Dellinger
Born (1934-03-23) March 23, 1934 (age 85)
Grants Pass, Oregon, United States
SportTrack and Field
Event(s)1500 m, 5000 m
ClubOregon Track Club
TeamUniversity of Oregon
Coached byBill Bowerman
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)1500 m – 3:41.5 (1958)
1 mile – 4:02.7 (1961)
2 miles – 8:43.8 (1961)
5000 m – 13:49.8 (1964)

William "Bill" Solon Dellinger (born March 23, 1934) is a retired American middle-distance runner. He competed in the 5,000 m at the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics and won a bronze medal in 1964, setting his personal record.[1][2] He lettered in track at the University of Oregon in 1954, 1955, and 1956.

Coaching career[edit]

Upon retirement from competition, Dellinger took a position as the assistant coach to Bill Bowerman for the Oregon Ducks track and field team. After Bowerman's retirement in 1972,[2] Dellinger succeeded him as head coach. In his 25 years of coaching, Dellinger's men won five NCAA titles, achieved 108 All American honors, and had a 134-29 meet record.

He was instrumental in the development and coaching of Oregon and American great distance star Steve Prefontaine in conjunction with Bowerman, and their experience was made into a 1997 film Prefontaine, in which Bill Dellinger was played by Ed O'Neill.

In Co-Operation with Adidas, Dellinger developed the so called "Dellinger Web", a Cushioning Technology used on various Shoes throughout the 80s and early 90s.

Dellinger also coached many post-collegians including Olympians Mary Decker, Bill McChesney (athlete), Alberto Salazar, Matt Centrowitz, Don Clary, and many others.[1]

After retiring from coaching[edit]

Dellinger retired from the University of Oregon in 1998 [3] and would later join his mentor, Bill Bowerman, as an inductee in the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2001.

Since retirement, he has stayed out of the Track and Field world, except for a few appearances at meets named in his honor.


Records set by Dellinger:[4]

  • 1956 American Record holder: 5000 meters 14:16.2
  • 1958 American Record holder: 1500 meters 3:41.5
  • 1959 World Record holder (indoors): 2 miles 8:49.9
  • 1959 World Record holder (indoors): 3 miles 13:37.0
  • 1960 American record holder: 2 miles 8:43.8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bill Dellinger Archived 2015-07-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Binder, Doug (August 20, 2008). "Bill Dellinger surged to '64 Olympic bronze and helped put Oregon on track map". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ "Bill Dellinger's Retirement from the University of Oregon".
  4. ^ Duck Record Holders Archived 2011-07-09 at the Wayback Machine.