|A.K.A.||Nell Cecelia Jackson|
|Was||Runner Athlete Sprinter|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||1 July 1929, Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, U.S.A.|
|Death||1 April 1988, Binghamton, Broome County, New York, U.S.A. (aged 58 years)|
Nell Jackson (July 1, 1929, Athens, Georgia – April 1, 1988) was an Olympic sprinter and track coach. She was the head coach for the U.S. women's Olympic track and field team at the 1956 and 1972 Olympic Games.
Jackson earned her college degree from Tuskegee Institute in 1951, a master's degree from Springfield College in 1953, and a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in 1962.
In 1944, at the age of 15, Jackson competed in the US national championships. In 1945, she competed in the AAU indoor and outdoor championships, placing second each time to Stella Walsh in the 200 meters.
While she attended Tuskegee Institute, she was a member of the 1948 US Olympic team and won two national collegiate titles in 1950, in the 200 meters and the 400 meter relay. She competed at the 1951 Pan-American games, placing second in the 200 meters and first as a member of the US 400 meter relay team.
Jackson set the American record for 200 meters in August 1949, running 24.2 seconds.
Jackson was inducted into the US National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989.
- 1945 AAU: 200 m (2nd)
- 1945 AAU Indoors: 200 m (2nd)
- 1951 Pan-Am Games: 200 m (2nd)
- 1951 Pan-Am Games: 400 m relay (1st)
- 1950 NCAA: 200 m (1st)
- 1950 NCAA: 400 m relay (1st)
Coaching and athletics administration
In 1953, Jackson returned to Tuskegee to work as the women's track and field coach, later also serving as the first men's swimming coach after creating the Tuskegee swimming program in 1958. She subsequently coached track and field at four universities: Iowa, Illinois State, Illinois, and Michigan State. She was the head coach of the 1970 national champion track team at the University of Illinois.
In 1956, Jackson was the first black head coach for a US Olympic track and field team. She served as the head coach of the women's team at the 1956 and 1972 Olympics.