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Lawrence "Larry" Snyder (August 9, 1896 – September 25, 1982) was an American track and field athlete, coach, and military veteran. He served as the track and field coach at Ohio State University from 1932 to 1965.[1]

Larry Snyder
Biographical details
Born(1896-08-09)August 9, 1896
Canton, Ohio
DiedSeptember 25, 1982(1982-09-25) (aged 86)
Alma materOhio State University
Playing career
1922–1924Ohio State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1932–1942Ohio State
1946–1965Ohio State
1952U.S. Olympic Team (assistant)
1960U.S. Olympic Team
Accomplishments and honors
  • Ohio State Varsity “O” Hall of Fame
  • The Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame
  • The Drake Relays Hall of Fame
  • The USATF Hall of Fame (1978)

Larry Snyder was portrayed by Jason Sudeikis in the 2016 biopic, Race, about African American Olympic athlete Jesse Owens.[2]


Military careerEdit

Snyder was a pilot instructor in World War I and served in the U.S. Navy in World War II.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

Snyder was due to participate in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris as a runner, but was injured in an airplane crash a few weeks before he was due to set out. This ended his hope of an athletic career, leaving him only the option of being a coach and training others.

The most heralded athlete coached by Larry Snyder was Jesse Owens, and Coach Snyder helped improve Jesse's techniques and performance.[4] Other successful athletes coached by Snyder were Dave Albritton, Glenn Davis and "Marvelous Mal" Whitfield.[3] All told, Snyder's OSU athletes set 14 world records, won 52 All-Americans certificates and eight Olympic gold medals.[1] Snyder was a inducted into Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame in 1977.

Olympic coaching careerEdit

Snyder was the U.S. track and field assistant coach in 1952 (Helsinki) and the head coach in 1960 (Rome).[1] Under his coaching, the 1952 USA team won 40 medals in Helsinki[5] and the 1960 team won 32 medals in Rome.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Hall of Fame". USATF. 1982-09-25. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  2. ^ "Race Chronicles Jesse Owens's Rise to Olympic Glory". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  3. ^ a b "Larry Snyder, USTFCCCA Special Inductee ::: U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association". Ustfccca. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  4. ^ "Jesse Owens | The Ohio State University". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  5. ^ "Track & Field results for the 1952 Summer Olympics". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  6. ^ "Track & Field results for the 1960 Summer Olympics". Retrieved 2016-09-26.