Former NCAA hurdles champion passes away

Former USC hurdler Paul Kerry, the 1965 NCAA Champion in the 120-yard hurdles, died on Oct. 6 after an extended illness, the university  announced Tuesday.

Track star · Paul Kerry ran hurdles at USC from 1964-1967. His time in the 110-meter hurdle ranks sixth in school history. – Photo courtesy of Sports Information

Kerry, who lettered at USC from 1964-67, took the 1965 NCAA high hurdles title with a time of 13.7 seconds. The two-time All-American was a key component of USC’s 1965 and 1967 NCAA track and field championship teams.

His 13.7-second mark in the 120-yard high hurdles, which is now a 110-meter race, is ranked sixth all-time by a Trojan.

Kerry is also in the books with his 52.1-second finish in the 440-yard intermediate hurdles, good for seventh all-time by a Trojan.

Kerry, who was born in Ardmore, Okla., competed in track and field and set multiple records at Washington High in Los Angeles before attending USC on a four-year track and field scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and history and a general secondary teaching credential at USC.

After his collegiate career, Kerry taught at John Muir Junior High School in Pasadena and later at Santa Monica High in 1969 as a social studies teacher and track and field coach.

Between 1975 and 1985, Kerry modeled in the summers, working for Nina Blanchard, Mary Davis Webb and the Ford Agency.

Kerry also traveled around the world to help educate athletes and coaches in Sweden, Finland, Papua New Guinea, Brisbane and Norway and received a nomination as Teacher of the Year from the NFL for his work.

1 reply
  1. Cathy Tangum
    Cathy Tangum says:

    Paul was a great man of his times, he had it all…charm, wit, brawn, and brains. He will be missed

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