Jerry Wrinkle

Hall of Fame • Class of 2011

Jerry Wrinkle graduated from Carson-Newman College in 1956 and received his Masters Degree from Peabody College in 1959. He began his coaching career as assistant football coach at Lakeview High School in Catoosa County, Georgia in 1956 and in 1959 Jerry started the school's track program.

In the fall of 1959, Jerry became assistant football coach and head track coach at Fulton High School, his alma mater. In his first year as track coach, Fulton High won the News-Sentinel Relays and the state district championship, and went on to be runners-up to Oak Ridge in the state regional and to Nashville East in the T.S.S.A.A. State Championship. Jerry directed the State decathlon in spring of 1960.

Jerry was one of the original founders of the Knoxville Track Club. He and Hall of Fame member Charlie Durham organized the first group of athletes that competed as the Knoxville Track Club, taking them to Greenville, SC in 1962 to win their first AAU team victory at Furman University, where they met future UT track coach Chuck Rohe.

Jerry Wrinkle was part of the first slate of officers for the 1963 KTC as Chairman of the Membership Committee and Secretary/Treasurer along with Hal Canfield, President; Charlie Durham, Program Director and Coach; and Chuck Rohe, Executive Director. Jerry is one of nine living members of the original 50 KTC members in 1963.

Jerry and Charlie worked closely with UT track coach Chuck Rohe, spending many late, late nights in his office, assisting with planning and preparation for events related to UT and the KTC. They also provided transportation to out-of-town meets for UT and KTC athletes. According to Jerry, Chuck never slept and didn't realize that there were some people that did.

Jerry served as the head finish judge for the UT track meets, which included the SEC and NCAA Championships. He was a key factor in the planning and preparation for the first Southern Interscholastic Championships, a high school meet which later became known as the Volunteer Track Classic. Though it was run on an old cinder track the first few years, the S.I.C. drew high school teams and several hundred athletes from eight states. Jerry was director of the meet the first five years. By 1985 the Volunteer Track Classic had 2,530 boys and girls competing from sixteen states and Canada.

When Jerry had to give up the directorship due to work responsibilities, he continued his leadership within the KTC by helping Charlie, Chuck and others with planning and preparation for various track and field events, and officiating in those events.

As a charter member and based on the many years Jerry devoted to establishing the KTC and gaining the KTC national recognition at the time, he is a most deserving inductee to the KTC Hall of Fame.