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Named to the Missouri Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1984, Dr. James Pilkington established an outstanding reputation as a track and field coach during his 28-year tenure at Central.
The professor emeritus of physical education came to Central in 1971 as head coach for track and field and cross country. He served at that post for 12 years before devoting full time to teaching as a professor of physical education.
Although he is proud of his accomplishments as a teacher, his coaching career is one that is marked with many successes. He started the women’s track and field program at Central, and under his guidance Central athletes earned some 52 NCAA All-American certificates. Six of them were selected for Olympic Trials and two national track and field champions were named. He also originated the Mule track and field major meets, including the Mule Relays and Cross Country Festival.
Dr. Pilkington has assisted with major track and field events across the state and nation. He served as a track starter for nearly all universities in Missouri, was a started for NCAA national championships and was a track started at Big Eight and Big 12 conference championships.
Dr. Pilkington earned his bachelor’s degree at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, master’s degree at the University of Pacific, Stockton, California, and doctorate at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
He and his wife, Carol, have three children, Gail, Kim and Jeff.