It’s been a pretty good summer for Georgia Tech track and field. Graduates Angelo Taylor and Chaunte Lowe qualified for the Olympics in the 400-meter hurdles and the high jump, respectively, and have excellent chances at medals in London.
Rising sophomore pole vaulter Nikita Kirillov won the U.S. junior national championships with a school and meet record performance in June. Thursday, at the world junior meet in Barcelona, he finished eighth.
In August, three Tech greats will be honored by the second induction class of the Georgia Track and Field Hall of Fame – Antonio McKay Sr., Douglas “Buddy” Fowlkes and Ed Hamm. McKay won gold in the 1988 Olympics in the 4×400-meter relay, Fowlkes was Tech’s head coach from 1965 to 1992 after a standout career as a student-athlete and Hamm was Tech’s first gold medalist, in the high jump at the 1928 Olympics.
The induction ceremony will be Aug. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
Bios provided by USA Track and Field-Georgia.
Douglas “Buddy” Fowlkes – was the head track and field coach at Georgia Tech for nearly three decades (1965-1992). Fowlkes’ list of accomplishments include coaching three Olympic medalists, two world record holders, 10 NCAA national champions, 50 All Americans, 77 ACC champions and 126 All-ACC selections.
Fowlkes made a name for himself at Georgia Tech as an athlete before earning his reputation as a coach. He remains one of only two athletes to ever win high point honors in three SEC track & field championship meets (Harvey Glance, now the head coach at Auburn, is the other). He set SEC all-time individual high-point honors that stood for 33 years and won the SEC long jump title three times.
Returning to his alma mater as head track & field coach, Fowlkes repeated his pattern of success. He was named ACC coach of the year twice, and he was honored as the 1985 NCAA Indoor Southeast Coach of the Year. Among his accomplished students was former world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Antonio McKay. In addition to serving as Georgia Tech’s long-time track & field coach, Fowlkes also served the city of Atlanta as a member first of the city’s board of aldermen and later as a member of city council. He was instrumental in bringing the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta.
Edward (”Ed”) Hamm won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1928 Summer Olympics held in Amsterdam, Netherlands. There he set a world record in the long jump, becoming the first Arkansan to win a gold medal. The Atlanta Journal called him “the South’s first world champion in any sport.”
In his high school junior year Hamm set a world high school record of 24′2⅝” (7.38 M), which qualified him for the Olympic trials in Boston. To pay for his trip, he borrowed $100 from Little Rock (Pulaski County) coach Earl Quigley. He failed to qualify for the Olympics, but the next year he went to Little Rock, regularly bringing Quigley two to five dollars until he repaid the money.
At Georgia Tech, Hamm won the SEC championship in 100M/Y- and 200M/220Y and the long jump three years straight. In 1928, he broke the SEC record in the long jump with a leap of 25′6¾”, won the National Intercollegiate meet, and broke the world record in the 1928 Olympic trials with a jump of 25′11½”.
On July 31, at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, Hamm broke the Olympic record and won a gold medal with a leap of 25′4¾”. After the Olympics, he was part of a track and field team that toured England and Germany. He won the long jump in every meet. Hamm graduated from Georgia Tech in 1928, served as the school’s track coach for a few years, and then spent the rest of his life in private business, much of it as an executive with Coca-Cola on the West Coast and in Alaska. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1996.
Antonio McKay, Sr. – After running collegiately at Tech, Antonio continued to train under Georgia Tech coaches Buddy Fowlkes and Grover Hinsdale. Beginning his professional track career, McKay won the gold medal in the 400m at the 1996 Goodwill Games in Moscow (44.98) and the 1987 IAAF Indoor World Championships (45.98).
Also in 1987, Antonio McKay broke the indoor world record in the 300m dash with a time of 32.51. In 1988, McKay ran in the preliminary heats for the gold winning 4×400m relay team, for his efforts he received a gold medal. He continued to consistently perform on the national and international level until 1991, winning three gold medals in the 400m at the USA Indoor Championship in addition to a gold medal in the 1989 IAAF Indoor World Championships.
McKay officially retired in 1994. Antonio McKay is married to wife Trina McKay. Two of his children, Antonio McKay Jr. and Antonietta McKay, both have run track for Georgia Tech. In addition, he currently works as a sprint coach in Atlanta.