Coach Ed Temple celebrates 88th birthday at Franklin’s New Hope Academy

Coach Ed Temple, with his daughter Edwina to his left,  at the unveiling of his statue.

Coach Ed Temple, with his daughter Edwina to his left,
at the unveiling of his statue.

As he’s done for the last several years, legendary TSU and U.S. Olympic women’s track coach Ed Temple will celebrate his birthday with the children of New Hope Academy.

The Franklin, Tenn., school ‘adopted’ Coach Temple in 2010, and kids there learn about his achievements as a coach and his struggle against Jim Crow as part of their curriculum. Each September, the entire student body gathers in the library to throw a birthday party for Coach Temple, complete with singing, birthday cake, and a question/answer session with the coach.

This year’s party will take place on Monday, Sept. 21. Coach Temple and guests will have lunch at noon, with the student party and program beginning at 1 pm.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville is scheduled to be among the guests at this year’s birthday party. Rep. Cooper joined Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, TSU President Glenda Glover, and many others Aug. 28 when a statue honoring Coach Temple was dedicated near First Tennessee Park in Nashville.

Temple served as head track coach at TSU from 1953 to 1994 and was the head women’s track coach for the U.S. Olympic team in 1960 and 1964. He has been inducted into 10 halls of fame. Forty of his TSU runners competed in the Olympics, winning 23 medals.

All 40 graduated. Temple was born Sept. 27, 1927, in Harrisburg, Pa.