Stampfl honoured by IAAF

Legendary MUAC coach Franz Stampfl has been honoured by the IAAF in the first group of coaches to be recognised with World Athletics Heritage Plaques. Stampfl coached at Melbourne University for more than thirty five years, guiding generations of MUAC athletes including Merv Lincoln and Ralph Doubell.

The World Athletics Heritage Plaque has been awarded posthumously to six world renowned coaches in recognition of their historic contribution to the promotion of Athletics, IAAF President Sebastian Coe announced at this evening’s IAAF/LOC press conference at Khalifa Stadium ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

The coaches honoured include Dr. Woldemeskel Kostre (Haile Gebrselassie), Yoshio Koide (Naoko Takahashi), Arthur Lydiard (Peter Snell), Franz Stampfl (Roger Bannister), Lawrence ‘Larry’ Snyder (Jesse Owens) and Dietrich Gerner (Adhemar Ferreira Da Silva) who mentored and moulded countless athletics talents into champions and world record breakers during their illustrious careers.

Middle distance legends Roger Bannister, Chris Brasher, Peter Snell, Ralph Doubell, Mal Whitfield and Christopher Chataway, distance greats Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, Hiromi Suzuki, Naoko Takahashi and Murray Halberg, jumper Adhemar Ferreira Da Silva, hurdler Glenn Davis and athlete of the century Jesse Owens, are among the long list of world beating talent nurtured by the six coaches honoured today.

Read more about the Heritage Plaques.

Plaque name:



Haus des Sports, Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 12, Vienna, Austria. , A-1040

Plaque awarded:

Plaque category – Legend

Austrian coach Franz Stampfl developed his own version of the interval-training system of Germany’s Woldemar Gerschler, who coached Rudolf Harbig, Gordon Pirie and Roger Moens. The main difference was that Stampfl’s training methods had his athletes do almost all their running on the track.

One of the world’s leading coaches in the 1950s and 60s, Stampfl mentored Roger Bannister, Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher in England, and later by Merv Lincoln and Ralph Doubell in Australia.

Stampfl, who came to study art in England in the late 1930’s, during WWII was interned and sent to Australia. After the end of hostilities he returned to Britain and worked as a professional coach especially advising university athletes. He began to train Brasher and Chataway in the early 1950s and was introduced to Bannister by Brasher in 1953. As well as helping guide Bannister to the first ever sub-4 minutes Mile in the May of the following year, Stampfl coached Chataway to a famous 5000m world record victory over Kuts in October 1954 and took Brasher to the 3000m Steeplechase gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

Stampfl returned in Australia after 1954 to take-up a coaching post at the University of Melbourne. His biggest successes in Australia were developing Merv Lincoln into one of the best milers of his day and guiding Ralph Doubell to the 800m gold in the 1968 Mexico Olympics.

Stampfl was involved in a car accident in 1980 which left him a quadriplegic. Despite this, he continued to coach and in 1981 he was awarded an MBE for services to athletics.

Stampfl was born in Vienna 18 November 1913 and died 19 March 1995 in Melbourne.