Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
San Jose State College "Speed City" Collection
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
This collection contains materials related to San Jose State College track and field events, athletes, and coaches during the era known as "Speed City."
San Jose State College and San José State University earned the name "Speed City" in the years 1956-1979. The nickname was given to the school because of the outstanding athletes in the men's track and field program. Coached by Bud Winter, the program produced 43 world records and 49 American records. Its most prominent athletes were Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who represented the United States at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. In the 200 meter final, Smith won gold and Carlos won bronze; it was there on the podium they both raised their gloved fists in support of the black power movement, creating a lasting image that still resonates today. The men's track and field program was eventually disbanded in 1988 because of budget problems. It was announced in 2016 that men's track and field at San José State University will be restored in 2018, marking 50 years since the 1968 Summer Olympics.
2 boxes (2.38 linear feet)
Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
This collection is open for research.