PASADENA - Dick Railsback, a member of the Pasadena City College Sports Hall of Fame and a record-setting U.S. pole vault champion, died at his home in Boise, Idaho on June 30 at the age of 75.
In 1966, Railsback set a national community college track and field record in the pole vault for PCC with a leap of 16 feet, 5.5 inches. He rose to fame in the event, ranking as high as fourth in the world and becoming the U.S. national outdoor champion in 1968 and then U.S. indoor champ in 1971 with a mark of 17-6.75.
He won two Pac-8 Conference titles in 1967 and 1969 at UCLA, including setting the then Bruins' school record of 17-6-1/4. That leap beat out future U.S. Olympic gold medalist Bob Seagren (then at USC) for the conference crown. He ultimately attained a lifetime best of 17-8.75.
Railsback was inducted into PCC's Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, and then the U.S. Pole Vault Hall of Fame in 2018. He was a 5-time, All-American and made seven appearances on the U.S. National team.
Railsback was an assistant coach for the 1976 U.S. Olympic team at the Montreal Summer Games. He served five years as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Nebraska (1978-1983).
Raised in Pasadena, Railsback attended Pasadena High before spending two years at PCC in 1965-66.
He is survived by his children, Michelle and Michael, and four grandchildren, Riley, Piper, Chloe and Barrett. The family has requested that any donations in Railsback's memory go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
(Robert Lewis, Pasadena City Athletics)
(Dick Railsback (above) in 1967 as a member of the U.S. AAU team.)