John Faulkner, a former LaFollette High School athlete (class of 1959), was recently elected to the Cumberland College Athletic Hall Of Fame. Cumberland College is located in Williamsburg, KY.
John was a member of the first track team at LaFollette High School and was also a member of the first Track and Cross-Country Teams at Cumberland College. He was said to have been the number one distance runner in the South-East at the time.
Following his college carreer, he has taught and coached for thirty-six years in Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. He has received various coaching awards and honors.
John Faulkner will be inducted into The Cumberland College Hall of Fame on February 19, 2000.
John Faulkner came to Cumberland College after a brief stay at Texas A. & M. University. While at Texas A. & M., he placed tenth in the very competitive South West Conference Cross-Country Championships.
John Duke, a track athlete in his own right, at Louisiana State
University and a faculty member at
Cumberland was asked to be the track and cross-country coach. Coach Duke said he built his track and cross -country teams around John.
In the cross-country team’s first season, John won five of six meets. He led the team to victory in twelve of thirteen meets in the second season and 26 victories and only three defeats during his career. This was against teams such as the University of Tennessee, East Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky, Morehead; Berea, University of Louisville, and Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools. He won the Lindsay Wilson Invitational, Bryan Invitational and was the inaugural winner of the Southern States Cross-Country Run. He set many course records including the University of Tennessee course record.
John was invited to the AAU National Championship in Louisville,
Kentucky where he finished twenty-seventh out of 166 of the nation’s best
distance runners and first among all Kentucky runners. During this
era, the AAU Championships were considered the ultimate meet since there
were no NAIA or NCAA track or cross-country championships.
The coach of the University of Tennessee said when Cumberland College is running you know who will finish first (John Faulkner), the race is for second place. He said John was one of the best distance runners in the South.
John was invited to run in the first “Mason-Dixon Invitational Games” at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky in February of 1961.
Running in the Howard College Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama, he led the Indians' team to a fourth place finish by winning the mile in 4:23 and lapping the field in the two-mile run in 9:40. The world record for the mile was 3:56.
In track, John averaged 15 points per meet running the mile, two-mile, half mile and 220 low hurdles. He was voted “Most Athletic” during his senior year.
John's 1973 Williamsburg Yellow Jackets’ Track Team won the Class A State Championship in Kentucky. That team also won its “first ever” S.E.K.C. track championship.
He received one of the more prestigious awards in the high school coaching profession, the F.S.C.N.C.A. Gold Award. The unique Franklin select Circle National Coaching Awards are designed to honor coaches who have achieved perhaps the highest watermark in their profession-a consistent level of excellence over at least five years of coaching. During his coaching career he coached 10 all-staters along with dozens of all-district and all-regional performers as well as athletes who went on to compete and win in the South Eastern Conference.
John was inducted into the Williamsburg Hall of Fame in 1997.