Mac Wilkins

Mac Wilkins
Mac Wilkins 1976.jpg
Wilkins in 1976
Personal information
Full nameMaurice Malcolm Wilkins
BornNovember 15, 1950 (1950-11-15) (age 72)
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.[1]
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight115 kg (254 lb)
Country United States
Event(s)Discus throw, shot put, hammer throw, javelin throw
ClubPacific Coast Club, Long Beach
Athletics West, Eugene
Oregon Ducks, Eugene
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)DT – 70.98 m (1980)
SP – 21.06 m (1977)
HT – 63.65 m (1977)
JT – 78.43 m (1970)[1][2]

Mac Maurice Wilkins (born November 15, 1950) is an American athlete, who competed mainly in the discus throw. He was born in Eugene, Oregon and graduated in 1969 from Beaverton High School in Beaverton, Oregon.


Distance running coach Bill Bowerman recruited Wilkins to the University of Oregon, where he threw the javelin 257' 8" (78.43m) as a 19-year-old freshman. As a senior, he was NCAA champion in the discus and won the first of eight U.S. national championships in the discus. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.


Wilkins competed for the United States in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the discus throw, where he won the gold medal with a distance of 221' 5" to defeat Wolfgang Schmidt of East Germany by four feet. Wilkins qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team but did not compete due to the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. He did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes.[3]

Wilkins won a silver medal in the discus throw at the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. He placed 5th in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

World records

Wilkins broke the world record four times in his career. During his discus throw series on May 1, 1976 in San Jose, California, he set the world record three times with consecutive throws of 69.80 m, 70.24 m, and 70.86 m. In 1976 and 1980, Wilkins was ranked #1 in the world in the discus throw. In 1977, he was the indoor national champion in the shot put, with a throw of 69' 1.5" (21.06 m).[2]


From 2006 thru 2013, Wilkins was the throws coach at Concordia University, an NAIA school in Portland, Oregon. His throwers won 26 individual national championships and earned 94 All-American honors. When Al Oerter died on 1 October 2007, Wilkins became the earliest surviving Olympic champion in the men's discus. He is not the oldest; Viktor Rashchupkin—the 1980 champion—is almost a month older. In August 2013, Wilkins left Concordia University to coach for USATF in Chula Vista, California.[4]


  1. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Mac Wilkins". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-04-17.
  2. ^ a b "Maurice "Mac" Wilkins".
  3. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry (2008). Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  4. ^ "Olympic Champion & Former World Record Holder". Coach Tube. Retrieved 22 August 2016.

External links

  • Wilkins at the 1976 US. Olympic Trials Video on YouTube @ 30:55
Preceded by Men's discus world record holder
April 24, 1976 – August 9, 1978
Succeeded by