Penn Track and Field Alum Fred Samara to be Inducted Into USTFCCCA


PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced last week the six coaches who will be inducted into the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Longtime Princeton coach and Penn track and field alum Fred Samara has been selected as one of the honorees.

Already a member of Penn’s Hall of Fame, Samara was a two-time track All-American with the Quakers, honored for the decathlon in 1971 and the long jump in 1972. He won the Penn Relays decathlon title five times, four times after graduation and once in 1973, when he captained the University of Pennsylvania men’s track team. Also that year, he won the IC4A outdoor long jump title. Samara competed in the 1976 Olympics in Munich, where he was the second United States finisher in the decathlon. In 1974, Samara set the indoor pentathlon record, and the following year, he set the world record in the decathlon. Overall, he was an All-Ivy League performer in eight indoor and outdoor events over a three-year span.

Six years after graduating from Penn and three years removed from competing at the 1976 Montreal Olympics in the decathlon, Samara was introduced as head coach of the Princeton men’s track and field program in 1979 – a position he currently holds. Current Penn Head Coach Steve Dolan himself learned under Samara, serving as head men’s cross country coach and assistant men’s track coach at Princeton prior to his arrival in Philadelphia.

Samara has won a combined 41 Ivy League Heptagonal titles (20 indoor, 17 outdoor and four in cross country). He has also been named the Ivy League Coach of the Year four of the six times it has been awarded.

He has coached over 400 individual Ivy League Heptagonal champions, 200 outdoor and 229 indoor. His athletes have pulled together for a total of 77 All-America honors and seven have claimed national championships.

Outside of the collegiate level, Samara coached field events for the U.S. Track & Field Team at the 1987 IAAF World Championships in Rome and was an assistant coach for the Americans at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. 

Samara and the other five will be honored at the 2017 USTFCCCA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, December 13, at the USTFCCCA Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.

Started in 1995, the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame exists to recognize coaches who have brought great distinction to themselves, to their institutions and to the sports of cross country and track & field. Each…

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