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Olympic gold medallist and renowned American sprint coach dies at 66

Harvey Glance won gold in the 4x100m at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, and he was the coach of three-time Olympic 400m medallist Kirani James

Harvey Glance Photo by: W/C

On Monday, former American sprinter and renowned coach Harvey Glance died at 66 after going into cardiac arrest. Glance was a three-time Olympian with Team USA and won gold in the 4x100m at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He also played a pivotal role in the success of three-time Olympic 400m individual medallist Kirani James of Grenada.

Glance’s coaching journey began at Auburn University in 1990, where he started as an assistant coach before taking on the role of head coach. In 1997, Glance became the head coach at the University of Alabama, where he worked with several top athletes, including James. Notably, he served as Team USA’s men’s assistant coach for sprints and hurdles at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and as the head men’s coach at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

Even after retiring from coaching at the University of Alabama in 2011, Glance continued to coach James, and together they achieved remarkable feats in the men’s 400m. James claimed the world 400m title in 2011, secured the Olympic 400m title at the London 2012 Olympics, and earned four additional global medals in the one-lap event between 2015 and 2022. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, James made history by becoming the first man to earn the full set of medals in the 400m event. He holds the distinction of being Grenada’s first and only Olympic medallist and champion.

Kirani James
Grenada’s Kirani James in the 400m at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. Photo: Kevin Morris

Glance’s own athletic accomplishments include winning the gold medal in the 100m at the 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, which secured his spot on the team for the Montreal Olympics, where he helped Team USA win gold in the men’s 4x100m, running the opening leg. In 1987, he also won a world championship gold medal as part of the 4x100m U.S. team alongside Lee McRae, Lee McNeill, and the great Carl Lewis.

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In recognition of Glance’s achievements, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and, most notably, received a Congressional Gold Medal of Freedom in 2008, which is awarded to those who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after their achievement.

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