August 25, 1955
Earl Bell, one of the most renowned U.S. men’s pole vaulters and coaches, was born in Ancon, Panama Canal Zone. He was a three-time Olympic participant and winner of an Olympic bronze medal. He became a National Collegiate Athletics Association record holder five times. On May 29, 1976, Bell set a world record for men’s pole vault at the U.S. Field Federation meet in Wichita, Kansas. He was named Olympic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1998 and was inducted into the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2002. Bell Athletics, which he founded and runs in Jonesboro (Craighead County), is considered one of the best training facilities in the world.