Rice Institute Owls track high jumper Henry G. "Hank" Coffman
Dateundated ca. 1980s
Black and white photograph of Henry G. Coffman. Rice Athletic Hall of Fame at the top left corner of the photograph. Under the photograph, Henry G. "Hank" Coffman (1948) and six paragraphs about Coffman's athletic contributions to Rice University. Captions reads: As an Owl sophomore in 1941, Hank Coffman set a SWC high jump record at 6-7 ¾ before he became a U.S. Navy pilot in the South Pacific during World War II. He returned to Rice to win two more conference titles in 1946 and 1947 while completing work for his degree in the Class of 1948. Thus, Coffman became the first man to win conference titles for Rice six years apart. In the Olympic year of 1948 Henry Coffman of Rice Institute had the nation’s best height of 6-8 ¼ prior to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but an injury two weeks before the Trials kept him from joining teammate Vern McGrew for those 1948 Olympic Games in London, England. Coffman set city, district, and regional high jump records for Thomas Jefferson High in his native city of San Antonio before graduation in 1939. At Schreiner Institute in Kerrville, he set a Junior College conference record of 6-4 ¼ before entering Rice as a soph that fall. He was recruited for Rice by the late great Owl track coach, Emmett Brunson, and a friend who was to become a world record track star, Rice teammate, Fred Wolcott. Another friend and teammate was champion hurdler, Augie Erfurth, who became “Brun’s” successor as track coach and Director of Athletics for Rice. Continuing his love of the sport, “Hank” has been high jump judge at virtually every meet held at Rice since the late forties. He has been a factory agent for several petroleum equipment manufacturers while residing in Houston since graduating from Rice. Coffman married Willa B. “Dado” Coffman, Rice ’43, right after the war. Their son, Bob Coffman, is a great athlete in his own right. He went to the University of Southern California out of Houston’s Lamar High and became No. 1 in the decathlon in 1979. He won the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1980, but got squeezed out by the U.S. boycott of the games in Moscow.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/63932
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