Project Description

Fred Beckwith

Garfield HS
Hall of Fame Class of 2003

Fred Beckwith graduated from Franklin High School in 1958 where he was a three year letterman in track and field. His high school coach, Leonard Saalawaechter, termed him “everything a coach could ask for in a track athlete.” Fred went on after high school to attend Central Washington University. While at Central, he earned a B.A. in Education and lettered as a member of the Wildcat Track and Field Team. Fred began his teaching career in 1965 in Reno, Nevada. In 1970, he moved back to Seattle where he taught industrial arts, technical drawing and coached track and field at Meany Junior High School. In 1971, he transferred to Garfield High School. In 1972, Fred became the head boys coach at Garfield and the head of the Physical Education Department, positions he would hold until his retirement in 2001.

His coaching record included eighteen league championships and six state championships. Numerous individual athletes went on to win league and state titles on the Garfield teams that Fred coached. In fact, current 4A state records are held by athletes that Fred coached in the 400m Relay (41.34), the 300m IM Hurdles (36.57), the 400m Hurdles (52.02), and the Long Jump (24’ 10.25”) Peller Phillips, while under Fred at Garfield, went on to record a wind-aided long jump of 27’ 0.25” in the Golden West National Meet that was the best ever recorded by a high school athlete.

Fred and his wife of 37 years, Joy, are now enjoying his retirement with their children and grandchildren. He continues to contribute to the field of education through substitute teaching and he remains a fixture in the sport of track and field by working at high school meets. It is with great honor that we welcome the man that helped put the Garfield men’s track and field program on the map of Washington State High School Track and Field. He is a welcomed addition to the Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame.