James "Spank" Blasing


Coach (Track/Cross Country) & Administrator (1956-84)
Inaugural Class (2009)
Eras: Pueblo Junior College, Southern Colorado State College, University of Southern Colorado

Pueblo Chieftain: Spank looks back at birth of cross country (August 21, 2005)
Pueblo Chieftain: Pioneer coach passes away (January 16, 2007)

James "Spank" Blasing was a longtime fixture at Pueblo Junior College, Southern Colorado State College and the University of Southern Colorado.  From 1956-84, he led the track and field program, and in 1960, was tasked to start the cross country program, which grew into one of the region's best. 

In the school's time as a four-year institution from 1964-84, Blasing's teams scored points in 12 of 21 national meets, reaching a high-water point in 1967, when SCSC finished seventh in the nation and won national championships in two events.  In all, 21 all-American honors were won by tracksters during this era, and Spank's teams won two RMAC Championships (1979, 1983).  He also coached four cross country all-Americans: Mike Duran, Chuck McGee, Luis Miera and fellow CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame inaugural inductee, John Martinez. 

In addition to his duties coaching the track and field and cross country programs, Spank was the assistant football coach (from 1956-60) and assistant athletic director for longtime athletic chief and CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame charter member, Harry Simmons.  Upon Simmons' retirement from USC in 1980, Spank served as athletic director for two years.

Today, Spank's name is still splashed across the athletic department, as invitational track and field meets, as well as the athletics department's annual fundraising 5K/10K and the annual award for the top male student-athlete are all named in his honor.

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