1964 Olympic 5000 meter Gold Medalist Bob Schul passed away on Father’s Day –  9-28-37 to 6-17-24.  Bob is the only American to win a Gold medal in the 5000 meters.

The final 3 laps of the 1964 Olympics 5000 meters

I knew Bob for over 40 years as he coached some of the athletes I ran against.  He was involved with Converse Running which I was a technical rep for Converse fitness shoes and I also directed the Converse Midwest Cross Country Meet of Champions in Oxford which he attended.  Bob roomed with me and brother, Jeff at the Sacramento USA Olympic Track & Field Trials.  Jeff and I were in Utica, NY for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2025 when Bob was inducted.

When I was the race director of the Columbus 10K I had Bob and Butch Reynolds sign the race poster for participants.  When I was the race director of the Arnold 5K Pump & Run he started the 5K and then we had pictures taken with Arnold.  Years ago I got Bob and 1964 10,000 Olympic Gold medalist Billy Miles to sign a poster.

More on Bob Schul –  

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

High School: Milton Union High School

College: Miami University

Schul had three Miami University track records: Mile (3:59.1), Two Miles (8:47.3) and Three Miles (13:15.6).  He was inducted into the Miami Athletic Hall of Fame in 1973.

 Bob was inducted in the 1991 USA T&F Hall of Fame –

The below is from the USA T&F https://www.usatf.org/athlete-bios/bob-schul 

A late bloomer as an international distance runner, Bob Schul earned the signal distinction of being the only American ever to win the Olympic 5000 meters when he sprinted home in the rain at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. His triumph came just a few days after fellow Hall of Famer Billy Mills unexpectedly became the first American ever to win the Olympic 1,000 meters. As a youth, Schul’s running potential was impeded by an asthmatic condition. A 4:34 high school miler, he joined the track team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as a walk-on. After interrupting his studies while he served in the Air Force, Schul ratcheted up his running under the tutelage of coach Mihaly Igloi. By 1963, when he returned to college, he had his first international success, winning a bronze medal in the 5000 meters at the Pan American Games. The following year, he ran 13:38.0 to break the American 5000m record by seven seconds, set a world record of 8:26.4 in the two-mile run, finished first in the USA-USSR dual meet, and won both the U.S. 5000m title and the Olympic trials. After brashly predicting an Olympic triumph, Schul made good on his promise, running the final lap in a withering 54.8 seconds. A year after the Games, Schul won the national three-mile title in an American record of 13:10.4.

Records Held

World Record: 2 mi. – 8:26

American Record: 3 mi. – 13:10

American Record: 5,000 m – 13:38.00 (June 5, 1964 – )

Championships

1964 Olympics: 5,000 m (1st)

1964 USA Outdoors: 5,000 m (1st)

1965 USA Outdoors: 3 mi. (1st)

1963 Pan-Am Games: 5,000 m (3rd)

RIP Bob