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Along with the award nomination, this this biography was compiled by Urla Hill, M.A., Guest Curator at SJSU.
The accomplishment of others who may or may not have been mentioned previously, but who benefited from Winter’s guidance include:
Bill Campbell After suffering an ankle injury, Winter persuaded Campbell to take his course on track and field. Campbell, who had plans to become a dentist, would switch his major to physical education. He spent the bulk of his career at West Valley College, 34 illustrious years, in fact, where he garnered a 253-11 dual meet record; 27 conference championships (16 consecutive); seven Northern California Championships; and one state title for the men’s cross country team. As head coach for the women’s team, he cumulated 144-11 dual meet record; eight conference championships; and five NCC championships. He holds six “Coach of the Year” honors, and also has been inducted into the California Community Colleges Track & Field/Cross Country Hall of Fame. Olympian Monica Townsend, who competed in the steeple chase in 1996, is one of the many notable athletes he has coached.
Lee Evans: An Olympic gold medalist in the 400 meters in ’68, Evans started his coaching career at SJSC in 1970. In his first season, he coached sprinter Elmo Dees, who, following in Evans’ footsteps, completed the 400 in 45.5 seconds. While at the University of Washington Evans coached All-American Ja’Warren Hooker, the 1998 Pac-10 male track athlete of the year, and the first double-event winner (100- and 200- meter run) for the Huskies. During his stint at the University of South Alabama, Evans would coach a couple more All Americans, miler Vincent Rono and Tony Okello, a three-time NCAA All-American in the 5000 meters. The bulk of Evans’ career has been spent overseas, beginning in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1975. Evans has coached Olympic teams for Nigeria, Cameroon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. He also has coached World Championship teams for Cameroon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia; and the United States’ 2005 indoor championship team. He has coached a slew of Olympians from these various countries, including Sunday Uti, Rotimi Peters, Innocent Egbunike, Gabriel Tiacoh, Ibrahim Ismail and Falilot Ogunkoya, who he had coached for two years by mail and in person. Finally, Evans coached Saudi Arabia’s semi-finalist team in the 1600- meter relay, the country’s first. Evans noted that during his early years coaching overseas, Winter would give him tips and advice whenever he was in the area.
Jimmy Omagbemi: Nigerian Omagbemi had already competed in the 200 meters and on the 100-meter relay team at the Olympic Games in 1960 before heading to SJS. Omagbemi, who also competed on the Nigerian 100-meter relay in 1964, was 30 years old when he began competing for Winter. During the 1970s, he would serve as the Director of Sports for what was known as the Bendal state of Nigeria in the 1970s. His son, Victor Omagbemi, won the 100 and 200 meters at the African Championships in 1992. Victor’s wife, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, is a five-time Olympian.
John Powell: A four-time Olympian – capturing bronze medals in 1976 and ’84 – in the discus, Powell has run his own camp, the John Powell Throwing Camp, for 25 years; and has coached at various other camps for 30 years. He has coached several All Americans from Stanford University, including Patty Purpur (shot/discus), Karen Nickerson (discus), and Pam Dukes (shot put); and Olympic discus thrower Carol Cady (’84, ’88). Powell also has worked with several Olympians, including shot putter John Godina (’96, ’00) and hammer thrower Kevin McMahon (’96, ’00). A seven-time National Champion, Powell has been named to the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame, California Community College Track & Field/Cross Country Hall of Fame; and the American River College Sports Hall of Fame.
Willie Williams: This San José State College graduate spent 13 years at the University of Arizona, and was named the sprint coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team before his death that year. U of A’s annual Willie Williams Classic is in its 29th season.