Larry Snyder (athlete)

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Larry Snyder
Sport(s) Track and field
Biographical details
Born (1896-08-09)August 9, 1896
Canton, Ohio
Died September 25, 1982(1982-09-25) (aged 86)
Alma mater Ohio State University
Playing career
1922–1924 Ohio State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1932–1942 Ohio State
1946–1965 Ohio State
1952 U.S. Olympic Team (assistant)
1960 U.S. Olympic Team
Accomplishments and honors
  • Ohio State Varsity “O” Hall of Fame
  • The Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame
  • The Drake Relays Hall of Fame
  • The USATF Hall of Fame (1978)

Lawrence "Larry" Snyder (August 9, 1896 – September 25, 1982) was an American track and field athlete, coach, and military veteran. He served as the track and field coach at Ohio State University from 1932 to 1965.[1]

Larry Snyder was portrayed by Jason Sudeikis in the 2016 biopic, Race, about African American Olympic athlete Jesse Owens.[2]

Military career[edit]

Snyder was a pilot instructor in World War I and served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Snyder was due to participate in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris as a runner, but was injured in an airplane crash a few weeks before he was due to set out. This ended his hope of an athletic career, leaving him only the option of being a coach and training others.

The most heralded athlete coached by Larry Snyder was Jesse Owens, and Coach Snyder helped improve Jesse's techniques and performance.[4] Other successful athletes coached by Snyder were Dave Albritton, Glenn Davis and "Marvelous Mal" Whitfield.[3] All told, Snyder's OSU athletes set 14 world records, won 52 All-Americans certificates and eight Olympic gold medals.[1]

Olympic coaching career[edit]

Snyder was the U.S. track and field assistant coach in 1952 (Helsinki) and the head coach in 1960 (Rome).[1] Under his coaching, the 1952 USA team won 40 medals in Helsinki[5] and the 1960 team won 32 medals in Rome.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Hall of Fame". USATF. 1982-09-25. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  2. ^ "Race Chronicles Jesse Owens's Rise to Olympic Glory". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Larry Snyder, USTFCCCA Special Inductee ::: U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association". Ustfccca. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  4. ^ "Jesse Owens | The Ohio State University". Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Track & Field results for the 1952 Summer Olympics". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Track & Field results for the 1960 Summer Olympics". Retrieved 2016-09-26.