James E. Bibbs,
Coach and Volunteer
Coach James E. Bibbs has been involved in instructing and coaching Track and Field nearly five decades. He was the first African American Head Coach at Michigan State University (MSU) and first head Track Coach in the Big Ten. During his distinguished career he has coached on every level including High School, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Club sports, Collegiate, National and International Teams.
Coach Bibbs has coached 26 All Americans and 52 Big Ten Champions.
Athletes of particular note include World Record holders Herb Washington and Marshall Dill, U.S. Olympian Judy Brown, and U.S. Olympic Head Women’s Coach Karen Dennis. He founded the Detroit Track Club winning five consecutive Women’s national relay championships. All Americans include Cheryl Gilliam, Pamela Sedwick ,Odessa Smalls, Elliot Tabron, Bob Castleman and Molly Brennan.
His numerous honors include being named AAU Women’s Coach of the Year and induction into the Michigan Amateur Athlete and Eastern Michigan Halls of Fame. He was selected as a torch bearer for the 2000 Winter Olympics. The following year the James E. Bibbs high school football stadium at Ecorse High School was dedicated. Recent tributes include acceptance into the greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame, Unsung Heroes Award and Citizen of the Year by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The first annual Kevin Bibbs Gentleman of Distinction Award was bestowed on Coach Bibbs in 2003. The annual James E. Bibbs Invitational Track Meet sponsored by the Lightening Lynx Track Club was initiated in 2006 to raise money for a Jim Bibbs scholarship.
His deep commitment to youth and passion for the sport has gained the respect and admiration of countless colleagues, athletes, parents and friends nation wide. Under his tutelage, coaching, encouragement and support, many student athletes have been empowered to excel athletically and academically.
Coach Bibbs retired as head Coach of Michigan State University in 1995. He continues coaching as a volunteer at East Lansing High School. He also serves as a volunteer instructor of Health and Physical education at the Black Child and Family Institute.
Coach Bibbs was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame in 2010.
Coach Bibbs is known throughout the community as an ambassador for Spartan Sports. He is “green” through and through , a role model and mentor to children, youth and adults of all ages. He is a man of integrity and honesty who is never hesitant to share his love of Michigan State University , his talent and his considerable knowledge with others. He is married to Martha Bibbs. Read more about his accomplishments on www.tncp.net.