Fred Wilt

Fred Wilt

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Fred Wilt
Height 5'8" (173 cm)
Weight 146 lbs (66 kg)
Nationality United States
PR 1,500 – 3:53.1 (1949); Mile – 4:08.5i (1951); 2 miles – 8:54.5 (1951); 5K – 14:26.8 (1950); 10K – 30:41.2 (1952)
Born December 14, 1920 at Pendleton, IN
Died September 5, 1994 at Anderson, IN
College Indiana U
Club New York Athletic Club

Frederick Loren "Fred" Wilt (1920-1994) was an American Olympic athlete, FBI agent and track coach.

At Indiana, Wilt was a two-time NCAA champion, winning a cross country crown and an outdoor two-mile title. Wilt was a nine-time AAU distance champion, winning the 3-miles from 1949-51 and the cross-country in 1949 and 1952-53. In 1950, he won the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete. He twice competed for the U.S. in the Olympic 10,000m finals (1948 and 1952). In 1952, at the age of 32, Wilt set an indoor world record in the two-mile run and later broke an 18-year-old American record in the 5000m.

An FBI agent during his competitive days, Wilt's interests later turned to the technical side of track & field. His book, How they Train, was a long-time best seller; he helped start Track Technique, one of the best technical journals in the world; and he advised various athletes, including 1964 Olympian and former marathon world record holder Buddy Edelen.

Coaching career

In 1978, nearing the age of 60, Wilt retired from the FBI and embarked on a new career as the head women's cross country and track & field coach at Purdue University. Purdue finished as runners-up at the 1983 Big Ten cross country championships and at the 1986 Big Ten outdoor meet before winning their first Big Ten women's title in outdoor track & field in 1987. He coached 17 different All Americans, including the 1982 national champion in the 3000m, Andrea Marek.

Wilt's accomplishments are recognized in the Purdue University Athletics Hall of Fame, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame. Wilt was also a special inductee into the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame. In 1974, Wilt was inducted into the RRCA Hall of Fame.


  • Fred Wilt, "How They Train" Track and Field News (1959) ASIN: B0007ERDCC
  • Fred Wilt, Run, run, run Track & Field News (1964) ISBN 978-0911520088
  • Tom Ecker and Fred Wilt, Illustrated Guide to Olpmpic Track & Field Techniques Parker Publishing (1966) ASIN: B000M1IYYQ
  • Fred Wilt, How They Train: Long Distances Tafnews Press; 2nd edition (1973) ISBN 978-0911520460

External links