Track & Field
    Former USC Hurdler And Decathlete Lawson Passes Away

    Bob Lawson

    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.