Legendary Coach Jim Bush, Editor Dick Drake Inducted Into Occidental Track Hall of Fame
Legendary track and field coach Jim Bush and the late Dick Drake ‘62, the highly regarded managing editor of Track & Field News, are the newest inductees into the Occidental College Track and Field Hall of Fame.
The men were enshrined at the 51st-Annual Tiger Track Alumni Awards Banquet held April 6 at Occidental.
Bush coached Oxy track from 1962-64, a span in which he never lost to cross-town power UCLA. The university would hire Bush away from Oxy in 1964, continuing a more than four-decade career of coaching Olympians, world record holders and numerous national championship teams. Bush would later coach at USC before retiring and instructing individual runners at UCLA and Taft High School in Woodland Hills.
Before his Oxy induction, Bush was enshrined in halls of fame at the US Track Coaches Association, USA Track & Field and UCLA. “The old saying ‘save the best for last’ sure rings true for this situation,” Bush said of the latest recognition. “Oxy does have the biggest spot in my heart when I think of all the schools that I’ve coached in.”
After an average track career at Oxy, Dick Drake would go on to become one of the sports biggest boosters as managing editor at Track & Field News. He took on the role in 1963 at age 22, and for the next decade would turn a 24-page black-and-white publication into the premiere news source for the track world.
“By the time he left in 1973, he had overseen its transformation to a glossy magazine with full-page color covers and an 80-page Olympic issue in 1972,” said Ed Fox, the magazine’s current publisher. “Dick was driven to make Track & Field News the standard-bearer of the sport and he left a legacy of integrity and accuracy that has been carried on, we hope, by those who came after him.” Drake died more than 15 years ago and he has no known survivors.
Bush and Drake became the 139th and 140th members of Oxy’s Track and Field Hall of Fame. Other Oxy inductees attending the enshrinement included 1952 Olympian John Barnes ’52; Tod White ’59, a member of the world record two-mile relay team; and Oxy Athletic Director Dixon Farmer ’63, NCAA champion and meet record holder in the 440 hurdles.