Honorary Referees - Larry Wilson

One never would guess from Larry Wilson's unassuming nature the many accomplishments he has achieved in a long and fruitful career as an educator and coach.

After graduating from Morgan State University in 1957, Larry served 2 years in the U.S. Army and was a member of the Army track and field team. After his service, he became Director of Physical Education and Recreation at Eastern Pennsylvania state school and Hospital where he worked with the emotionally disturbed children.

In 1969, he began his long association with Drexel University as Industrial Coordinator, retiring in 1998 after nearly 30 years.

Coach Wilson's real love has long been track and field. In 1978, while still employed by Drexel, he also became head coach of the Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School – a position he continues to hold today. He and Gwynedd Mercy teams have been legendary.  Rare indeed is the year in which his team doesn't make the 4 x 800 m finals at the Penn relays.

One of coach Wilson's greatest achievements is having been one of the founders of the Ambler Olympic Club in Pennsylvania. He now serves as the clubs Head Coach Emeritus. Perhaps his most notable Ambler "graduate" is Kim Gallagher, who still holds the national high school record in the 800m (2:00.07) and 1500m (4:16.6). 

As a leading coach and educator, Coach Wilson was named as assistant track coach of the U.S .Junior Pan-American teams in 1989 (Santa Fe, Argentina) and 1997 (Havana, Cuba). He was also the head coach for the 1991 National Sports Festival.

He has been involved in the administrative side of the sport as well he has held several important positions over the years, including serving on the executive board of the AAU Athletics Committee and as Chair of a AAU's Middle Atlantic Division for track and field and cross country.

Coach Wilson is active in the Lower Montco Optimist Club and the Ambler Kiwanis Club, and he is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He recently lost his beloved wife of many years, Mercedes, but he has four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

We are extremely pleased to have this unassuming legend, Coach Larry Wilson, as this year's Nike Indoor Nationals Honorary Referee.


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