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Lakeview Funeral Home & Lakeview Cemetery

12100 E 13Th St N, Wichita, KS

OBITUARY

W. Herman ("Herm") Wilson

August 10, 1927November 6, 2019

W. Herman Wilson 1927 – 2019

Herman Wilson, former Wichita State University track and field coach from 1967-1983, passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2019. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Both events will be held at Lakeview Funeral Home, 12100 E. 13 St. N, Wichita, KS 67206.

Herm Wilson was born on August 10, 1927 in Milan, Kansas, and lived his early years near Anson, Kansas. He attended Anson High School his first 2 years and graduated from Conway Springs High School. After graduation, Herm entered the United States Navy, where he spent the majority of his service stationed on the island of Guam in the South Pacific. After his naval discharge, he enrolled at the University of Kansas but made the decision to enroll at a smaller school Emporia State Teachers College. After a year at Emporia State, he enrolled at Kansas State University in 1951, on a track scholarship, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. He subsequently earned his B.A. degree and master’s degree in Physical Education from Kansas State University.

Herm began his coaching career in 1952 at Great Bend High School where he was Head Track Coach and Assistant Football Coach. He then became Assistant Track coach at Kansas State University under long time Head Coach Ward Haylett. After a brief departure into the corporate world, Herm returned to his love of coaching in 1961 as Athletic Director and Head Track Coach at Wichita Heights High School where he stayed until 1967 when he was hired to be the Head Track and Field Coach at Wichita State University, where he remained until 1983.

It was during this time at Wichita State that Herm became known as one of the great innovators, developers, meet directors and administrators in track and field in the United States. Under his leadership, the Wichita State Cross Country team won five (5) consecutive Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championships in the mid-70’s and his teams were annually ranked in the top 20 in the NCAA. His track and field teams won one (1) MVC outdoor conference championship and finished runner up ten (10) times. In his 16 years at Wichita State University, Herm coached one (1) Olympian, nine (9) All-Americans and eighty-seven (87) individual conference champions. Wichita State University became synonymous with excellence in the Track and Field world during Herm’s tenure. From 1970-82 he served as meet director for the U.S.T.F.F Championship and T.F.A. National Track and Field Championships hosted by Wichita State. Herm also served as meet director for the 1980 and 1981 NCAA National Cross Country Championships in Wichita held at Echo Hills Golf Course.

In 1976, Herm was elected by his coaching peers as President of the United States Track and Field Coaches Association. Herm also served on numerous national coaching staffs, including the Olympic Development Committee distance running staff (1979-85), 1979 World University Games, 1982 National Sports Festival, and 1984 USA vs England Indoor meet. Herm was elected to the Wichita State University Shocker Hall of Fame (1996) and to the Wichita Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (2010).

After leaving the coaching profession in 1983, Herm continued his dedication to track and field for over 30 years, as a sales representative for sport surfacing products at Southwest Recreational Industries, Defargo Sports Surfaces, and Beynon Sports Surfaces – Tarkett Sports. With over 70 years of experience Herm was a tremendous mentor for many individuals in the sports industry, and in 2011 Tarkett Sports presented Herm with their lifetime achievement award for his service to track and field.

Herm is preceded in death by his wife Carol Wilson, and his brother Warren Wilson. He is survived by his three (3) sons Craig and wife Pat of Mulvane, Kansas; Don and wife Linda of Wichita, KS; and Doug and Melissa of Austin, TX. Grandchildren are Ryan Wilson (Kellum), Brice Wilson (Samantha), and Avery Wilson, and special friend Marge Casebolt.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Herm Wilson Memorial for WSU Track & Field, c/o WSU Foundation, 1845 Fairmount, Campus Box 2, Wichita, KS 67260-0002, https://foundation.wichita.edu/current-memorials

Services

  • Visitation with Family Wednesday, November 13, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Memorial Service Thursday, November 14, 2019

Memories

W. Herman ("Herm") Wilson

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John Deardorff

November 14, 2019

Track will miss Herm. He meant so much to USA track and field. One of the all time greats.
Personally, I owe so much to him. He was a strong influence and opened some doors for me in my track officiating career.
Thanks Herm

Marilyn Short

November 13, 2019

Surrounded by students he coached
Coach Wilson 2015 @ the WHHS class of 1965 & friends
50th class reunion.

Marilyn Short

November 13, 2019

Another picture of Coach Wilson at our
WHHS class of 1965 & Friends 50th reunion 2015

Marilyn Short

November 13, 2019

A couple of photos from our 2015
WHHS class of 1965 & Friends
50 year class reunion

Marilyn Short

November 13, 2019

Coach Wilson one in a million, one of the best "first" faculty Heights would have; respected by all. I was a "first" freshman 1961. We, the WHHS class of 1965, were honored to have him attend our 50 year reunion in 2015. It was very good to see him looking so well and to get to visit with him. What a distinguished man with many accomplishments and a stellar legacy.
My sympathies and prayers for you all.

Diana Metzler

November 13, 2019

Uncle Herman was just such a kind man. He took interest in my mediocre high school track career as if I was a state champion. I have great memories of going to his and Aunt Carol's house for the holidays and that crazy dog Clancy. I send my love to my cousins and their families for I know they will miss him so much.
God bless you all.
Diana Metzler

Kay Smith

November 12, 2019

Herman was a caring, loving brother in law. His bright personality livened up family gatherings. He was a wonderful husband to my sister and I am thankful she had him. Scott, Diana, and I always enjoyed seeing him and hearing his grand adventures. He will be missed and always thought of lovingly.
Thinking of you all,
Kay Axline Smith

Joneva Flowers

November 11, 2019

Mr. Wilson was such a fine gentleman. I didn't know him well, but he held his dignity at all times. I know that he was loved by many, and will be missed by many.
Joneva Flowers

Julia Hull Johnson Francisco

November 10, 2019

Herm Wilson was the cross country and track coach at Heights during my junior/senior years (1964-65). Besides being a great coach we could tell he really liked his athletes and students. He encouraged everyone to be involved with his sports. He was one of the best. God bless his family.

Harry Simpson

November 10, 2019

Fair winds and following seas sailor.
"Boatswain... Standby to pipe the side... Shipmate's going Ashore..."

Thank you for your service to this nation.

FROM THE FAMILY