Bill Bowerman

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Bill Bowerman (February 19, 1911 – December 24, 1999) William J. Bowerman was an American track and field coach and businessman. He spent his entire career as a head coach at the University of Oregon. At Oregon, between 1949 and 1972, Bowerman coached Nike founder Phil Knight as well as Kenny Moore, Bill Dellinger, Mac Wilkins, and a young Steve Prefontaine. He guided the Ducks to four NCAA team titles. Bowerman was also known for crafting his own sneakers on a waffle iron. His theory was custom-made sneakers would weigh less on the feet of his runners and cut down on blisters. With Phil Knight, Bowerman parlayed his waffle-soled sneaker into Nike Inc. which was founded in 1964. After his retirement from Oregon, Bowerman coached the 1972 United States Olympic team in Munich. He was replaced as head coach at Oregon by former pupil Bill Dellinger.