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.
A legend in every sense of the word.
Alabama mourns the loss of former head coach Harvey Glance.
— Alabama Track & Field (@AlabamaTrack) June 14, 2023
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 medalist and champion.
Glance’s own athletic accomplishments include winning the gold medal in the 100m at the 1976 US 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 US team alongside Lee McRae, Lee McNeilland the great Carl Lewis.
Jim Hines, the first man to run the 100m in under 10 seconds, dies at 76
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.