Fred Wilt

Fred Wilt (December 14, 1920 – September 5, 1994) was an American athlete. He won the James E. Sullivan Award for best amateur athlete in the US in 1950.[1] He was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1981.[2] Wilt attended Indiana University.


At the 1948 Summer Olympics, Wilt finished in 11th place in the 10,000 metres. Four years later, at the 1952 Summer Olympics, Wilt finished in 21st place in the same event.

Wilt's book Run Run Run was published in 1964 by Track & Field News. It contained chapters written by Wilt, notable coaches, including New Zealand's Arthur Lydiard, and Soviet gold medalist Vladimir Kuts, and went through six printings over the next ten years. In 1975, Fred Wilt coined the term plyometrics while observing Soviet athletes warming up. He reached out to Dr. Michael Yessis, who had previously introduced this concept to the United States through Russian translation of Verkhoshansky's work. This inspired their later collaboration to get this information out to U.S. coaches and ultimately, Soviet Theory, Technique and Training for Running and Hurdling.[3] Wilt wrote and compiled eight other books on long distance running and track and field. He later was the head Cross Country and Track and Field Women's Coach at Purdue University.