JAMES BIBBS - Lifetime Achievement Award For Retired Coaches - 2009

BIO For James E. Bibbs (Summary)

Coach James E. Bibbs has been involved in instructing and coaching Track and Field nearly five decades.  During his distinguished career he has coached on every level including High School, AAU Club sports, Collegiate, National and International Teams.

Coach Bibbs has coached 26 All Americans and 52 Big Ten Champions. Athletes of particular note include World Record holders Herb Washington and Marshall Dill, US Olympian Judy Brown, and US Olympic Head Women’s Coach Karen Dennis. He founded the Detroit Track Club winning five consecutive Women’s national relay championships. All Americans include Cheryl Gilliam, Pamela Sedwick ,Odessa Smalls, Elliot Tabron, Bob Castleman, and Molly Brennan.

His numerous honors include being named AAU Women’s Coach of the Year and induction into the Michigan Amateur Athlete and Eastern Michigan Halls of Fame. He was selected as a torch bearer for the 2000 Winter Olympics.  The following year the James E. Bibbs high school football stadium at Ecorse High School was dedicated.  Recent tributes include acceptance into the greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame, Unsung Heroes Award and Citizen of the Year by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.  The first annual Kevin Bibbs Gentleman of Distinction Award was bestowed on Coach Bibbs in 2003. The first annual James E. Bibbs Invitational Track Meet sponsored by the Lightening Lynx Track Club was held in 2006 to raise money for a Jim Bibbs scholarship.

His deep commitment to youth and passion for the sport has gained the respect and admiration of countless colleagues, athletes, parents and friends nation wide. Under his tutelage, coaching, encouragement and support, many student athletes have been empowered to excel athletically and academically.

Coach Bibbs retired as head Coach of Michigan State University in 1995. He continues coaching as a volunteer at East Lansing High School. He also serves as a volunteer instructor of Health and Physical education at the Black Child and Family Institute.

James E. Bibbs is known throughout the community as an ambassador for Spartan Sports. He is “green” through and through , a role model and mentor to children, youth and adults of all ages. He is a man of integrity and honesty who is never hesitant to share his love of Michigan State University , his talent and his considerable knowledge with others.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH - JAMES E. BIBBS

James E. Bibbs is Head Track Coach and Assistant Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University.  His distinguished career as a coach extends over five decades. Coach Bibbs has experience and has excelled at the prep, club, and collegiate, national and international levels in Track and Field. During that time he has gained the respect and admiration of countless coaches, officials, colleagues, athletes, parents and friends.  The affection and encouragement he gives to student athletes specifically and all young people in general reflect the depth of his contributions to his community.  He continues coaching at East Lansing High School as a volunteer.

Career highlights include:

  • An outstanding Prep baseball player; he was offered but declined a contract with the New York Yankees
  • Earned All-American Honors in Track at Eastern Michigan University
  • Tied Jesse Owens world record in the 60 Yard Dash 1951
  • Earned a BS Degree from Eastern Michigan University
  • Completed Master’s Degree at Wayne State University
  • Founded the Detroit Track Club winning five consecutive Women’s national relay championships
  • Coached State Championship Ecorse High School Team
  • Taught physical education at the elementary school level Ecorse Public Schools
  • Head Coach U.S. Women’s Pan American Team - 1967
  • AAU Women’s Track Coach of the Year
  • Inducted into the Michigan Amateur Hall of Fame -1974
  • Inducted into the Eastern Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame -1979
  • 1st African American Coach-Michigan State University - 1968
  • 1st African American Head Track Coach – Big Ten -1975
  • Assistant Coach of the U.S. Junior Pan American Team -1984
  • Head Coach for the North at the U. S. Olympic Festival
  • Assistant Coach - USA Team vs. Team Great Britain and Kenya
  • Consultant onsite for the Belize National Track Program
  • Coached 26 All Americans, 52 Big Ten Champions at MSU
  • Carried the Olympic Torch for the 2000 Winter Olympics
  • James E. Bibbs Football Stadium dedicated at Ecorse High School
  • Member  MSU Museum Board of Directors
  • Member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
  • Inducted into the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame 2005
  • Citizen of the Year – Omega Psi Phi Fraternity  2005
  • Kevin Bibbs Gentleman of Distinction Award – 2003
  • James E. Bibbs Invitational Track Meet initiated 2006
  • Volunteer Assistant Coach East Lansing High School - State Champs
  • Unsung Heroes Award – A. Phillip Randolph Institute -2006

James E. Bibbs is known throughout the community as a Spartan ambassador, role model and mentor to children, youth and adults of all ages. He is a man of integrity and honesty who is never hesitant to share his love for Michigan State University, his talent and his considerable knowledge with others all over.