ETHS to dedicate indoor field house to Olympian Willie May


Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave. The school will honor Olympian Willie May by dedicating its indoor field house in his honor.

Ryan Wangman, City Editor

He may not have the national notoriety of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays, but Evanston Township High School’s Olympian Willie May will be honored as a hometown hero after the school names its indoor field house in his honor.

The dedication ceremony, which will be held on Feb. 9 at ETHS, will honor the “many contributions” of the former physical education teacher, track and field coach and athletic director, the school announced in a news release. May won the silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

ETHS/District 202 board president Pat Savage-Williams and superintendent Eric Witherspoon will join the May family and May’s Olympic teammate, gold medalist Hayes Jones, at the ceremony to celebrate the dedication and naming of the field house.

May died in 2012 of complications from amyloidosis, a rare blood disease, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“While all of the trophies and medals distinguish Coach May in the history books, what will always define Coach May for me was the grace, humility and strength with which he carried himself and his teams at Evanston Township High School,” athletic director Chris Livatino wrote in an email to the ETHS community following May’s death.

Over his 31-year tenure as head track and field coach, May lead his team to 24 consecutive Central Suburban League Championships and five IHSA State Trophies — including a State Championship in 1979, and coached over 50 state medalists, according to the release. During his time as the school’s athletic director from 1983 to 2000, he also worked with co-athletic director Shirley Nannini to develop gender equality within ETHS athletics, the release said.

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