Sam A. Venable Sr., officiated sports events and worked at hundreds of track meets even before there was a Knoxville Track Club to share the job.
Venable was one of the eight founding members of the Knoxville Track
Club. He was a past president of the KTC and the Knoxville YMCA.
Sam Venable, educator, member of the Knox County Board of Education and
one of Tennessees most widely known sports figures, died in June
of 1972 at the age of 57. Venable was an associate professor of physical
education at UT, where he graduated in 1935 and received his Masters degree
Venable taught seven years in the Knoxville School System before World
War II, in which he served as an infantry major. He moved to UT after
In addition to his teaching duties at UT, Venable was a long time track
and field official with the KTC officials organization. He officiated
at all of the UT and local high school track meets throughout the 1960s.
Venable was also official scorer at UT basketball games and annually served
as tournament director of TSSAA basketball.
"We carried the downs-markers and chain together at Tennessee football
games for 22 years," said Maynard Glenn, City Recreation Bureau Director.
"I suppose Sam was the greatest all-around man Ive ever known.
He did more things for others than he ever did for himself. He was thoughtful
and kind and religious and completely honest."
"Sam Venable was my teacher," said Dr. Andy Kosar, former head
of the mens physical education department at UT. "He had many
jobs and many skills and yet a wit and warmth you seldom see. I recall
him asking the blessing at our first T-Club alumni dinner. He said 'Lord,
forgive us for the sports stories we are about to exaggerate.'"
Venable was, for perhaps 20 years, the driving force in UTs intramural
"No person in my memory has done more to encourage wholesome sports
than Sam Venable," said Andy Holt, UTs president emeritus.
One purpose of the KTC Hall of Fame is to remember and honor members
like Sam who have contributed greatly to the success of the Club.