Former Tennessee men’s track & field/cross country head coach Chuck Rohe passed away Tuesday morning in Ocoee, Florida. He was 92 years old.
Rohe stood at the helm of the Tennessee track & field program from 1962-71 and led the Volunteers to a dominant stretch of 21 consecutive SEC titles across cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field. His Tennessee squads sported an impressive 130-18-2 (.873) dual record over nine seasons and finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships on seven occasions. In 1967, Rohe was named the United States Track & Field Coach of the Year.
Rohe also was the architect of the championship-level nexus between Tennessee’s track and football programs, helping the Vols succeed in both sports by enabling student-athletes (17 in total) to participate in each. He served as the director of football recruiting under head coach Doug Dickey and mentored a pair of football All-Americans in Richmond Flowers and Chip Kell, in addition to Dick Evey. Three football athletes who also competed on Rohe’s track & field teams earned All-America acclaim in their respective events.
Rohe has been inducted into several halls of fame, most recently the University of Tennessee Athletics Hall of Fame in April 2023. He was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2019, the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame in 2009, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Southern Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
“Our program is saddened to learn of Chuck Rohe’s passing, and we are praying for his family during this difficult time,” Tennessee director of track & field Duane Ross said. “I had the pleasure of meeting Coach Rohe this past spring at his Hall of Fame celebration. He created a dynasty during his time in Knoxville and we spoke about rebuilding the program to the success they had in the past. I promised him I would, and he said he was willing to do anything he could to help. Coach Rohe will be greatly missed.”
Rohe’s legacy included an effort to build an Olympic-quality track & field facility in the heart of campus with the construction of Tom Black Track in the mid-1960s. Tennessee’s home venue opened in 1967 and has served as the host site of numerous collegiate championship events in addition to the 1994 USA Track & Field Championships.