The George C. Griffin Track & Field Facility, already considered one of the top sites in the Southeast for outdoor collegiate track competition, was recently improved as part of Georgia Tech’s preparation for the Centennial Olympic Games.
Griffin Track was renovated with a state-of-the-art Mondo surface, similar to those used at Olympic Stadium and at the sites of the World Championships, USA Track and Field Indoor Championships and NCAA Indoor Championships, and was used as the workout track for the Olympic Village.
Fifteen Griffin Track records (eight women’s and seven men’s marks) were set at the 1996 Georgia Tech-Reebok Invitational, the first event held on the new surface.
The Georgia Tech track teams’ locker rooms were also renovated as part of the $10 million re-creation of the Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center, which served as the boxing venue during the Games.
In addition to Griffin Track’s state of the art surface and locker rooms, the facility is enhanced by a scenic location which combines natural beauty with Atlanta’s modern skyline.
The eight-lane, ultramodern Griffin Track is located between Tech’s Rose Bowl practice football fields and the Bill Moore Tennis Center on Fowler Street.
Griffin Track was originally built in the summer of 1985. The facility is named after national Hall of Fame coach George C. Griffin, who guided both the Yellow Jacket track and cross country programs from 1921-25 and 1934-43 and remained the cross country coach until 1974.
The Tech track and field program experienced unprecedented success during the Griffin era, winning six Southeastern Athletic Association Championships and one Southeastern Conference Championship.
Griffin also guided the cross country team to new heights, winning 10 SEC titles, including six in a row from 1935-1940. Georgia Tech still ranks second in SEC cross country championships.
Two of Griffin’s athletes competed in the Olympic Games. Homer Welchel competed in the javelin in 1924 and Ed Hamm won a gold medal and set a world record in in the long jump in 1928.
Morris Bryan Stadium, which completes the George C. Griffin Track and Field Facility, provides the Rambling Wreck with the finest total track and field complex in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The facilities at Morris Bryan Stadium include a 1,500-seat grandstand along with judges stands, a press box, concession stands, storage areas and restrooms.
The grandstands bring the fans close to the action and give them an excellent view of the track as well as the Atlanta skyline.
The stadium’s namesake, the late Morris Bryan, is the former president of the Jefferson Mills.
A 1941 graduate of Georgia Tech, Bryan competed for three years as a hurdler on legendary coach George Griffin’s track teams.
Bryan was widely known as the “Father of the Georgia Olympics,” an all-classification state high school track and field championship meet that has been held in Jefferson, Ga., since 1972.
The stadium was officially dedicated when Tech hosted the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the first time in school history in April 1987.
A contribution from the Bryan family and the Jefferson Mills in large part funded the building of the stadium.
Former Director of Track Buddy Fowlkes also solicited donations from Tech track and field alumni. Donors have had their names etched on a plaque and were honored at the dedication ceremony.