Former University of Nebraska track star, world record holder, and Olympic gold medalist Charlie Greene has died. Greene, who competed for the Huskers from 1965-67 passed away Monday at the age of 76.
Greene remains Nebraska’s most-decorated NCAA male track athlete with 6 national titles. He won the 60-yard dash indoors and 100 yards outdoors from 1965-67 en route to becoming a 7-time All-American and 11-time conference champion.
Greene was the first Husker to successfully defend an NCAA title in any sport and still holds the school record in the 50-yard dash, 60-yard dash and 100-meter dash.
A pulled hamstring kept Greene from making the U-S Olympic team in 1964, but he made the next two teams.
He medaled twice at the 1968 Games in Mexico City with a gold as part of the world-record 4×400 men’s relay and bronze in the 100 despite injuring his hamstring.
Leading up to the 1968 games, Greene tied the 100 meter world record at the AAU Championships in what became known as the “Night of Speed.”
He matched the record of 10-flat in qualifying, then in the second semifinal tied the new record of 9.9 set in the first semi set by Jim Hines and Ronnie Ray Smith
Greene was a member of the Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame, the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the U-S Olympic Hall of Fame.
Long-time friend and UNL executive associate Athletic Director Dr Lawrence Chatters says Greene “exemplified what it means to be a Husker… an amazing student-athlete at Nebraska (who) went on to serve his country honorably in the Army.”
Greene was in the ROTC at UNL and went on to spend 24 years in Army, retiring as a major before going on to work for Special Olympics International in Washington, DC, and eventually returning to UNL to work in student affairs.
He was a big part of the Lincoln community throughout his life in many ways including serving as volunteer sprints coach at Lincoln Northeast High School in 2007 and volunteering for the Husker Life Skills program.
Greene also enjoyed being part of the Husker Athletic Department community and a supporter of all Husker student-athletes.