2007 USATF Pacific Hall of Fame Inductee Harmon Brown
54 Years of Service in Pacific Association
First Certified 1977
First Officiated 1953
- 1962-1974 Coach Millbrae Lions
- 1974-1992 Coach California State University Hayward
- 1994-2007 Throws Coach for San Francisco State University
- 1986-Present Member IAAF Medical Commission
- 1981-2 President The Athletics Congress, Pacific; Chair Track & Field Committee
- Cathy Sulinski- ’84 Olympics- Javelin
- Steve Roller- ’84 Olympics- javelin
- Maren Seidler- -’72, ‘76’ 80 Olympics-Shot Put
- Diane Oswalt- Cal State Hayward- NCAAII champion DT- ‘82, ’84, ‘85
OFFICES HELD (OLYMPIC, USOC, AAU, TAC, USATF, NCAA, ETC.)
- First Pacific Association USATF President 1981
- IAAF Medical Committee 1986-2008
- Sports Science Sub Committee Chair
- Education Sub Committee Chair
- IAAF USATF Sports Medicine and Science Committee Chair 1984-2002
BOOKS WRITTEN OR EDITED, PROFESSIONAL ARTICLES PUBLISHED
- Coauthor of IAAF Medical Manual and co presenter of the first IAAF Sports Medicine Course. His studies on the effects of vigorous training on menstruation and pregnancy helped demonstrate women’s fitness to compete.
- He edited “The Menstrual Cycle and Physical Activity” (1986) and helped write “Sport Science Perspectives for Women” (1988). But he believed girls and boys should be trained differently, saying that girls, for one thing, were more loose-jointed than boys and more susceptible to injuries like dislocated shoulders. “Four years ago it was not O.K. for girls to participate in sports,” he told Time magazine in 1978, “and they were forced to be sedentary. Now it’s suddenly O.K., but teachers are not equipped to show girls how to gradually improve their physical fitness and cut down on injuries.”
- Dr. Brown was a contributing author of the “USA Track & Field Coaching Manual,” the official coaching guide of the sport’s national governing body.
- And he was editor and an author of the I.A.A.F.’s “Medical Manual for Athletics and Road-Running Competitions: A Practical Guide,” which is in its third edition.
AWARDS RECEIVED (Association, National, Other)
- 1980 President’s Award
- 1983 Joseph Robichaux Memorial Award from Women’s Track and Field
- 1989 Dick Barbour Award from Pacific Association Officials
- 1995 Robert Giegengack Memorial Award for contributions to the Sport
- 2004 Tom Moore Lifetime Service Award from the Pacific Association for 40 years of service.
- 2008 Heliodoro and Patricia Rico Lifetime Achievement Award
A well-respected author, coach, professor, speaker, endocrinologist, team administrator and track meet official, Dr. Harmon Brown served the sport of track and field in countless ways. Brown earned his M.D. from the George Washington School of Medicine in 1956. While pursuing his career in medicine in California, he coached in club, high school, collegiate, national and international levels. During his coaching career he mentored numerous All-Americans and three Olympic throwers. He served on coaching staffs with nine Team USA international teams from 1967-1986, including two Olympic and two Pan-American teams.
Harmon “Doc” Brown was a high school and collegiate sprint hurdler. He was born in Washington D.C. and graduated from McKinley High School there and was a National Honor Society member. He went on to Lafayette College in Easton, PA where he graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Chemistry. Since his college didn’t have an indoor track team he got to run in the open division with the best hurdlers of his time and was a school record-holding hurdler in his younger days.
Following college he went to George Washington University School of Medicine in his home town. He then traveled to Atlanta where his was intern, resident and chief resident of Internal Medicine at Emory University Hospital. In 1961 he was drafted into the Navy and wound up as a Lt. Commander at the US Naval Radiological Defense Lab in San Francisco and thus to the association. Since 1962 Doc has been part of the staff of the University of California, School of Medicine in San Francisco where he started as an Associate and ended up as a Clinical Professor. He spent 10 years at the VA Hospital in Livermore and 17 as Director of Student Health Services at Cal State University at Hayward.
He has been a club, school and intercollegiate coach since 1953, primarily in throwing events with several regional and national champions and three Olympians. He coached athletes from the high school to the international level in the javelin throw, the discus and the shot-put.
When he began coaching in 1962, women were not permitted to participate in collegiate competitions. Brown became a tireless advocate on behalf of women athletes and conducted pioneering research on the effects of strenuous exercise on the female body to demonstrate women’s physiologic and performance capabilities. Brown worked to find physiological, biochemical and nutritional performance benefits to counter the rise in drug use in elite sport.
He coached the Millbrae Lions from 1962 to 1974 then Cal State University at Hayward from 1974 to 1992 and since then at San Francisco State. He was named to 10 National Team Coaching positions between the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg in 1967 to the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow. He coached on two Olympic teams and two Pan Am Teams in that period. His top assignments might have been the 1975 Tour of the People’s Republic of China* one of the first good will tours to China and the 1976 US Olympic Team where he was the field events coach. In 1981, he coached in competition between American and Soviet athletes a year after the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He has been one of the National Team Physicians four times at the 1982 Pan Am Games in Venezuela, the 1985 World Cup in Canberra, Australia, the 1987 World championship in Rome and the 1991 World championships in Tokyo.
Within the Pacific Association Harmon has been active since 1965 as a leader in many areas. During the AAU days he was Association Track & Field Chair and National Girls Age Group Chair (1963-1967). He was the first Athletics Congress President 1981-82 when it split away from the AAU. Brown served TAC/USATF as chair of the organization’s Sports Science and Medical Committee for two decades where he was instrumental in developing USATF’s innovative drug testing initiatives. The past few years he served as USATF’s High Performance Sports Science Chair. Brown was also one of the co-architects of USATF’s High Performance Programs philosophy of track and field being an athlete-centered, coach-driven and scientifically applied sport.
In the early 1980s, he helped to initiate and then chair the IAAF Medical Education Working Group, a forerunner to the current Medical and Anti-Doping Commission, which started in 1985 on which he also served until stepping down in 2007. In all, Brown’s contribution to the IAAF’s medical and anti-doping program consisted of 24 years of devoted service, a period that also involved many appointments as Medical Delegate to IAAF championships. Internationally As such he has been involved with medical care and drug testing at many regional and international championships. He was the head of the Medical team for the 1995 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. His work stems from a lifetime of interest in the effect of training on young women and strength training of women throwers. He was in the first class to become board certified in Sports Medicine in 1993. He had started almost 30 years before when the US first incorporated science into training for athletes. He has been a leader in that field. He became involved in the educational activities of the IAAF particularly the medical area give in many workshops around the world in the mid 90’s including Qatar, in 92, Monaco in 94, Nairobi, Guttenberg and Puerto Rico in 95, Atlanta, Iceland, Cairo and Argentina in 96 to name just a few.
Doc, when he isn’t involved with coaching or medical duties, also has been an active official for many years being certified in the late 70’s. A contributing author to the USA Track & Field Coaching Manual, Brown was a well respected author. He served as the editor and co-author of the IAAF Medical Manual for Athletics and Road Running Competitions: A Practical Guide, a publication that is now in its third edition.