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Harry Gill
Born: January 9, 1876; Died: August 31, 1956
A former multi-event athlete and discus world-record holder, Harry Gill coached at the University of Illinois. In 1921 he organized the very first NCAA championship in any sport, and his Illini won the inaugural event in addition to a second title in 1927. Gill eventually led his collegians to a combined 22 Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, amassing a winning record of 111-24 (.822) during his coaching career. Under Gill, Illinois athletes appeared at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games, where they scored more points than any every other nation’s entire team. Gill began coaching at Beloit College in Wisconsin before he was hired as the head track coach at Illinois until a 1921, taking a brief break before returning to conclude his career with the Illini from 1931-33. In 1918, he founded Gill Athletics, the track & field equipment company, with a simple ash javelin. By 1922, his enterprise had become so successful that he was able to offer a full line of track & field equipment, and the company is ubiquitous in the sport today.
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