Wednesday, April 30, 2014

RIP Frank Budd, Villanova's Fastest Man

 Frank Budd (far right)

Just ten days ago, when I was honoring honoring Villanova Penn Relays greats, I decided on going out of my way to honor two Villanova sprinting greats, Frank Budd and Paul Drayton, who are still to this day the two greatest short sprinters in Villanova history. This afternoon, Villanova announced that Frank Budd died on Tuesday at the age of 74.

Here is the release in its entirety

VILLANOVA, Pa. - It is with great sadness that Villanova University announces the passing of Frank Budd `62, a distinguished alumnus and member of the track & field program who was enshrined as part of the inaugural class of honorees on the Villanova Wall of Fame. Budd was a native of Asbury Park, N.J. A viewing will be held on the Villanova campus this coming Monday, May 5 at 9 a.m. at the St. Thomas of Villanova Church, with a funeral mass to follow at 11 a.m.
During his athletics career Budd established himself as one of the top athletes in Wildcats history. He won three NCAA individual championships, was a two-time Penn Relays champion and went on to represent the United States at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
Budd placed fifth in the 100 meters at the 1960 Olympics and his time of 10.3 seconds tied the old Olympic record in the event. He tied or set six world records during his racing career and remains the world record holder in the 100 yard dash. Budd's world record time of 9.2 came at Randall's Island in New York in 1961 just after he concluded his junior year at Villanova. Budd also remains the school record holder in the outdoor 100 and 220 yard dashes, as well as the indoor 50 and 60 yard dashes.
As an undergraduate at Villanova, Budd was a member of the track & field team from 1960-62. He won the outdoor national championship in the 100 yards as both a junior and a senior in 1961-62 while also capturing the 1961 title in the outdoor 200 yards. In each of those years Budd also helped lead the Wildcats to Championship of America titles in the 4x220 yard relay at the Penn Relays, including anchoring the 1962 winning team.
Budd was also a seven-time IC4A champion for Villanova, winning three titles indoors and four outdoors. He won both the 100 yards and the 200 yards titles in 1961-62 and was the champion of the 60 yards indoors for three straight years from 1960-62. On October 7, 1995, Budd was one of seven Wildcats legends who were a part of the first induction class onto the Villanova Wall of Fame in Villanova Stadium.


Despite never playing a single down of college football, Budd was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 1962 NFL Draft. He went on to play wide receiver in the NFL for both the Eagles and the Washington Redskins.


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