Nov. 21, 2007
Former head track and field coach Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake is one of five new additions to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. Drake joins Calvin Smith, Jason Frederick, Glenn Morris and George Woods as the induction class of 2007.
The Class of 2007 will be inducted Saturday evening, December 1, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in conjunction with USATF's 2007 Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.
"Induction into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor for our athletes and coaches, and these five special individuals richly deserve this recognition of their remarkable careers," said USATF President Bill Roe. "We look forward to honoring them in Honolulu as they take their well-earned place among the all-time greats of American track and field."
Drake, the head coach at UCLA from 1947-1964 (Asst. Coach 1929-1944), led the Bruins to the 1956 NCAA outdoor team title. Over his career, seven of his athletes won nine NCAA individual titles and 12 national AAU crowns. Named the NCAA Track & Field Coach of the Year in 1956, Drake was the coach of National Track & Field Hall of Famer Rafer Johnson, who won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Johnson barely edged out Bruin teammate and fellow Drake protégé C.K Yang, who captured the silver medal in one of the most dramatic duels in Olympic history.
Other Olympians coached by Drake include gold medalist Cy Young (1952), bronze medalists Craig Dixon ('48) and George Roubanis ('56), as well as George Stanich ('48), George Brown ('52), and Nagalingam Ethirveerasingham ('56). In 1973, the UCLA track stadium was named in his honor, and in 1984, he was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame as a charter member.
Drake joins a list of many Bruins in the National Hall of Fame including Rafer Johnson, Mike Powell, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Kevin Young, Willie Banks, Greg Foster, Evelyn Ashford, Dwight Stones, Francie Larrieu Smith, Jim Bush and Kate Schmidt.