Former USC Hurdler And Decathlete Lawson Passes Away
April 11, 2013
Former USC track star Bob Lawson passed away at his home in Ocean Shores, Wash. on April 3 at the age of 78.
Lawson attended USC from 1955-58 and excelled as a 120-yard high hurdler, twice winning the Pacific Coast Conference championship in the event and finishing fourth at the 1958 NCAA Championships He was also a world-class decathlete, ranking in the top 10 in the world from 1955-57, according Track and Field News. Lawson finished as high as fourth in the world in 1955. He recorded 7,098 points at a USC meet in 1955, which still stands as the Trojans' 10th-best all-time performance. Lawson placed fourth in the decathlon at the 1956 Olympic Trials, just missing out on representing the United States at the Olympics. He graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958.
While at USC he was a student-coach in track and field and then went on to become an assistant coach at Oregon in 1959 and '60. His career as a track coach continued at Kansas (1960-62), Iowa State (1962-69), Wisconsin-Parkside (1969-81), U.S. Naval Academy (1981-83) and then becoming an international coach from 1985-99. He retired in June of 2000.
Lawson held positions in the USA Track and Field Association and N.A.I.A. Coaches Association, is a member of the N.A.I.A. Hall of Fame, University of Wisconsin Hall of Fame, Aberdeen High School Hall of Fame and Most Distinguished Alumni.