Frank Budd

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Frank Budd
No. 20
Born:(1939-07-20)July 20, 1939
Long Branch, New Jersey
Died:April 29, 2014(2014-04-29) (aged 74)
Marlton, New Jersey
Career information
Position(s)Wide receiver / Return specialist
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight175 lb (79 kg)
NFL draft1962 / Round: 7 / Pick: 96
Career history
As player
1962Philadelphia Eagles
1963Washington Redskins
Career highlights and awards
Records100 yard dash[1]
Career stats
Receiving yards236
Receiving TDs1

Francis Joseph "Frank" Budd (July 20, 1939 – April 29, 2014) was an American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins. Budd was an Olympic athlete who competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, where he finished fifth in the finals of the 100 meter event and was part of the team that finished first in the 4×100 meter relay before being disqualified on a baton pass.[2] He set the world record in the 100-yard dash with a time of 9.2 seconds in 1961, breaking the record that had been set by Mel Patton in 1948.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Long Branch, New Jersey, Budd played high school football at Asbury Park High School in Asbury Park.[3]

He ran track at Villanova University but never played a down of college football. At Villanova he was coached by their legendary track coach James 'Jumbo' Elliott.

Amazingly. Budd achieved his success despite a deformed right calf, the legacy of a childhood disease, possibly polio.[4]

Track career[edit]

Budd was considered the world's best 100 y/m sprinter in 1961. That year, he was to equal the world record for 100 y at 9.3 s, set a new world record at 9.2 s for that distance, and was a member of a team that set a world record in the 4 × 100 m relay of 39.1 s.[5]

The next year, 1962, he equaled the world record for 200 m/220 y on a straight track of 20.0 s.[5]

1960 Rome Olympics[edit]

Budd had finished second behind Ray Norton in the United States Olympic trials at 100 m in a closely fought contest between the first four finishers, all recording the same time of 10.4 s. At the Olympics themselves, Budd was to finish fifth in the final with perhaps his inexperience at major championships telling against him.[6]

Budd was to experience further disappointment in the 4 × 100 m relay. The United States team (of Budd-Norton-Stone Johnson-Dave Sime) finished first in a world record time of 39.4 s but were disqualified because the at the first exchange from Budd to Norton, Norton started too early and the exchange happened outside the changeover box. The West German team who finished second in 39.5 s received the gold medals and became the new world record holders.

100 m final at the 1960 Olympics, Budd is 2nd from right

World Records[edit]

In 1961, Budd was to equal twice the then world record for 100 y of 9.3 s:[7]

This record had stood since 1948 having first been set by Mel Patton and subsequently equaled by 12 other athletes.

Then on June 24, 1961, Budd became the first man to run the 100 y in 9.2 s. He was competing in the AAU Championships at Downing Stadium in New York City.[8]

Further to this, on July 15, 1961, in a dual USA-USSR meet, Budd was a member of team that set a new world record for the 4 × 100 m relay of 39.1 s.[9]

The next year, 1962, he equaled the world record for 200 m/220 y on a straight track of 20.0 s. It is claimed that Budd, feeing a twinge in a muscle, was easing-up the last 70 m.[10]


Budd was ranked among the best in the US and the world in both the 100 and 200 m sprint events during the period 1960-62, according to the votes of the experts of Track and Field News.[11][12][13][14]

USA Championships[edit]

Budd achieved notable success at the AAU championships, the USA national championships.[15]

American football career[edit]

Budd was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 1962 NFL Draft and played for the Eagles in 1962 as a wide receiver. He played for the Washington Redskins in 1963 before switching to the Canadian Football League, where he played for the Calgary Stampeders.[16]

Budd had both sporting and financial reasons for giving up the chance of further glory on the track for the possibility of glory and wealth on the football field; as his wife, Barbera, has stated, "'ve got to remember that Frank loved football, too,....He didn't think it was a mistake at all. There was no money available then in track. He'd been a terrific player at Asbury Park, and he thought, with all his speed (despite no college football experience), he'd have a long career in the NFL.".[17]

Accolades and awards[edit]

In 1995, Budd was one of the seven former Villanova athletes chosen to be a member of the first induction class of the Villanova Wall of Fame.[18]

Later life[edit]

Budd has been reported to have worked in later life for the New Jersey Department of Corrections and retired in 2002.[19][20]

A resident of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Budd died on April 29, 2014, in the Marlton section of Evesham Township, New Jersey. He was 74.[16]


  1. ^ a b Published in The New York Times, June 25, 1961, 73rd NATIONAL A.A.U. Track & Field Championships Of The U.S.A. at John J. Downing Memorial Stadium
  2. ^ Frank Budd Archived January 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Frank Budd profile Archived February 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, database Football. Accessed June 4, 2007.
  4. ^ John F. Morrison (May 6, 2014) Frank Budd, 74, the "world's fastest human" in 1961.
  5. ^ a b Progression of IAAF World Records 2011 Edition, Editor Imre Matrahazi, IAAF Athletics, p 460.
  6. ^ R Hymans (2008) The History of the United States Olympic Trials - Track & Field, USA Track & Field
  7. ^ Progression of IAAF World Records 2011 Edition, Editor Imre Matrahazi, IAAF Athletics, p 16.
  8. ^ Roy Terrell (July 3, 1961). "Record Dash en Route To Moscow". Sports Illustrated.
  9. ^ Roy Terrell (July 24, 1961). "The High Meet The Mighty". Sports Illustrated.
  10. ^ Progression of IAAF World Records 2011 Edition, Imre Matrahazi (ed.), IAAF Athletics, p. 38.
  11. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 29, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  12. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
  14. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2003, Track and Field News, Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Litsky, Frank. "Frank Budd, Once Known as World’s Fastest Human, Dies at 74", The New York Times, May 1, 2014. Accessed May 30, 2014.
  17. ^ Elliot Denman (May 6, 2014). "A tribute to Frank Budd".
  18. ^ "Villanova Legend Frank Budd Passes Away". Villanova Athletics. April 20, 2014.
  19. ^ "'World's Fastest Human,' a Former NJDOC Employee, Dies at Age 74" (PDF). Spring 2014 Newsletter. NJDOC. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "Sprinter Frank Budd dies", Associated Press, May 2, 2014.