Tony Waldrop, 1974 ACC Championships
Tony Waldrop wins the Mile in 3:59.8 at the 1974 ACC
Championships, his ninth successive sub-4-minute mile.

Tony Waldrop

Tony Waldrop (Polk Central HS) as a sophomore (1968) won the state title for the 1-A/2-A schools in the mile (4:22.0).

At the 1969 state meet Waldrop ran 1:53.9 to smash by 2.3 seconds the existing 880-yard state meet record of 1:56.2 that had stood for 14 years.

Rules at the time prohibited running the 880/mile double. Waldrop won the mile (time not available) in the 1-A/2-A classification as a senior. His best mile that year was 4:18.0

At the University of North Carolina as a Morehead Scholar Waldrop, ran 1:50.2 (880y) as a freshman and 1:48.3 as a sophomore. His junior year he ran the mile in 3:57.3 and as a senior 3:53.2 -- in winning at the Penn Relays.

While at Carolina, Waldrop won six ACC titles, ran an unprecedented 11 consecutive sub-four minute miles, won NCAA titles in the indoor 1000 yards and mile, and set an indoor world record of 3:55.0

He was voted ACC Athlete of the Year for 1974, winning over national basketball player of the year David Thompson (State), and Maryland's John Lucas.

Waldrop was on the cover of Track and Field News twice in 1974.

Tony Waldrop   Tony Waldrop

He set an American Collegiate Indoor Record of 3:39.8 for the 1500 meters in 1974 -- a record that was not broken until 2012. The record lasted for 38 years (!).

Waldrop received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He later became a professor in molecular and integrative physiology, and then the vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In 2001 he became Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies at UNC.

Waldrop later (2010) was provost and executive vice president of the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

In 2014 Waldrop became the third President of the University of South Alabama, in Mobile.

As of late 2021 Waldrop is retired, and living in Durham, where his wife teaches at Duke University.

Waldrop is a member of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame

More biographical information is available in this June 2001 article on Tony Waldrop Returns to Carolina as Vice Chancellor

Article on Waldrop -

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Polk native Tony Waldrop elected to state T&F/Cross Country Hall of Fame (12/10) - page on Waldrop

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