Two-time Team USATF coach Bob Larsen selected as 2019 Legend Coach


INDIANAPOLIS -- Bob Larsen, longtime UCLA coach and co-founder of the Mammoth Lakes High Altitude Training Group that spurred the resurgence in American distance running in the early 2000’s, is the 2019 USATF Legend Coach, USATF announced Friday.

Larsen was recognized by USATF on Saturday, July 27th at 2:52 p.m., during the Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, followed by a private reception that evening.

His 20-year career at UCLA included back-to-back NCAA outdoor titles in 1987 and 1988, 11 PAC-10 Championships and four NCAA National Coach Of The Year Awards. He’s a member of 10 halls of fame including USATF, USTFCCCA, and UCLA. 

In a brilliant career that has spanned six decades, Larsen (and his staff) coached 13 athletes to a total of 25 national championships while in the collegiate ranks. As UCLA’s head coach, he held a 118-3-1 record in dual meets and was selected PAC-10 Coach of the Year eleven times. 

Larsen guided marathoner Meb Keflezighi to four NCAA titles, Olympic silver at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and World Marathon Major victories at the 2009 New York City Marathon and the 2014 Boston Marathon.

He was a two-time Team USATF Coach as an Olympic Distance Coach in Athens in 2004 and World Indoor Championship distance coach in Doha in 2010.

He founded and coached the Jamul Toads club team to the AAU National Cross Country title in 1976. He is featured in the documentary City Slickers Can’t Stay with Me and the book Running to the Edge.

The USATF Legend Coach Award is in its sixth year and is selected by the USATF Coaches Advisory Committee. The inaugural award was presented to Hall of Fame Tigerbelle Coach Ed Temple in 2014, followed by Dr. Joe Vigil in 2015, Tom Tellez in 2016, Clyde Hart in 2017 and Brooks Johnson last year.