Former UCLA distance star and Beckman track and field and cross country coach Bob Day passed away Thursday morning after a short battle with bladder cancer.
Jenny Day, Bob’s wife, confirmed that Day was originally diagnosed with bladder cancer last October. He had an operation in November and had been in and out of the hospital since then. He returned from his last stint in the hospital last week at which time his condition had deteriorated and taken a turn for the worst.
Day was a four-year distance standout for UCLA from 1963-66. In 1964, he set a then national-record of 3:56.4 in the mile. That time is still the school’s current mile record. By the time he graduated, Day also held school records in the 1500 (3:42.1), the two mile (8:33.0), and the 5000 (13:44.2).
In 1968, Day won the 5000 competition at the U.S. National Track and Field Championships and competed for the United States team in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
Day had been the coach of the Patriots boys and girls track and field and cross country teams since the school started competition in those sports in 2004.
Memorial services for Day are pending.