Track & Field
    Former NCAA Hurdles Champion Kerry Passes Away
    Paul Kerry won the 1965 NCAA title in the 120-yard hurdles.
    Paul Kerry won the 1965 NCAA title in the 120-yard hurdles.

    Oct. 16, 2012

    LOS ANGELES - Former Trojan hurdling great Paul Kerry, the 1965 NCAA Champion in the 120-yard hurdles, passed away on Oct.6 after an extended illness.

    The two-time All-American Kerry lettered at USC from 1964-67 and won the 1965 NCAA high hurdles title with a time of 13.7 and took sixth place in the event at the NCAAs in 1967. His efforts in the hurdles at both the 1965 and 1967 championships helped USC capture the NCAA team track and field titles. Kerry's 120-yard hurdles time of 13.7 ranked sixth all-time by a Trojan, with the event now being a 110-meter race. He also ranked tied for seventh all-time by a Trojan in the 440-yard intermediate hurldes (52.1), which is now the 400-meter hurldes.

    Kerry was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma and began high school there before moving to Los Angeles and attending Dorsey High and then Washington High. At Washington he began competing in track and field and setting records. Kerry then attended USC on a four-year track and field scholarship.

    At USC, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and History, and a general secondary teaching credential. He later took graduate courses at several universities, including Pepperdine. During his college career, he was involved in many campus organizations and served as an officer on many occasions.

    He ran track meets for the LA Unified School District Youth Services Program. Kerry taught at John Muir Junior High School before moving on to Santa Monica High in 1969 to teach social studies and to coach track and field. He worked at Santa Monica High until retiring in 1996. Over the years, he traveled to Sweden, Finland, Papua New Guinea, Brisbane, and Norway to help educate athletes and coaches. Among his honors was an NFL nomination as Teacher of the Year.

    From 1975-1985 Kerry also had a simultaneous career in modeling in the summers. He worked for Nina Blanchard, Mary Davis Webb and the Ford Agency. In retirement from teaching, Kerry was active in working with AIDS groups and enjoying his passion for skiing.