Phil Coleman

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePhilip Yates "Phil"•Coleman
Used namePhil•Coleman
Born10 July 1931 in Champaign, Illinois (USA)
Died25 July 2021 in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA)
Measurements180 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsUCTC, Chicago (USA)
NOC United States


Phil Coleman was primarily a steeplechaser but also won the AAU Indoor mile championships in 1960. In the steeple he was AAU Champion in 1959-60 and won the 1959 Pan American Games gold medal in the steeplechase. His other podium finishes in the AAU Meet included second in the steeple in 1958 and third in 1953 and 1956. In August 1958, at a meet in Warszawa, Coleman ran 8:40.8 for the 3,000 steeplechase to set an American record.

Coleman ran for Southern Illinois University and the Chicago Track Club. He later earned a doctorate at the University of Illinois in 1964 after he had served in the US Army. Coleman became an English professor, mostly at California University of Pennsylvania, where he also served as dean of the liberal arts college, and in 1967-68 was an assistant track coach.

Coleman was known for his love of the outdoors, and spent much of his free time hiking, paddling and cross-country skiing. He worked with the Pennsylvania Sierra Club and other environmental non-profits. Retiring in 2010, he moved to Florida and became active in the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College, writing novels, short stories, and poetry.

Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:47.6 (1960); Mile – 4:03.8i (1960); 2 miles – 8:48.0 (1956); 5000 – 14:23.1 (1960); 3000S – 8:40.8 (1958).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Phil Coleman
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 9 h2 r1/2
1960 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Phil Coleman
3,000 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 5 h1 r1/2

Special Notes