Ed Tucker would be the first one to say that without the quality athletes he worked with in a coaching career that spanned almost 40 years, his record of meets won and championships earned would not be close to what it is today.
It’s hard to ignore the accomplishments of a coach who was not only a mentor to the athletes he worked with but was a friend to them years after they finished competing. At Glendale College, the United States Coast Guard Academy and Grossmont College, Tucker compiled a mind-boggling record of 438 meets won and just 39 losses.
At Glendale College from 1954 to 1967, Tucker led the Vaqueros to eight Western State Conference championships and the greatest prize of all, the first state championship in school history in 1959. For the members of that team who played a part in that successful season, the most important thing may not have been just the championship that was won but the long-lasting friendships that exist to this day.
One of the athletes he worked with that stands out for Tucker was a young pole vaulter named Bob Seagren, who never competed for the Vaqueros but was a student at Glendale before he transferred to USC. During the 1966 indoor and outdoor track seasons, Seagren set world records at both levels and ultimately won the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
Ed (age 11) with Jack LaLanne (age 22) at "Muscle Beach," Santa Monica, 1939
Besides his outstanding record as a coach which included winning 61 straight meets at the Coast Guard Academy and four unbeaten seasons in almost 13 years there, Tucker was also a much sought after keynote speaker for the NCAA and was a speaker at major clinics from 1968 to 1983. He was named the U. S. Olympic Track Coach for the javelin at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, which the United States ultimately boycotted, and was a member of the U.S.A. Olympic Committee from 1977 to 1980.
During his time at Glendale College, Tucker took a year off to travel in Europe to observe the training methods that helped several countries dominate the world in the javelin event. The knowledge he gained helped not only the athletes he coached directly, but Americans in general, including former world record holder Tom Petranoff, who trained with Tucker.
After three years at Grossmont, Tucker was hired as the Dean of Students at Cuyamaca College before he retired in 1986 to concentrate on running a family owned Hallmark Store in San Diego.