Jim Tuppeny coached some of the most successful University of Pennsylvania track teams and directed the Penn Relays to new heights during his 22 year tenure. “Tup” coached from 1966 until 1979 and was the Penn Relays director from 1970 through 1987.


Tuppeny coached teams easily handled the competition, especially the outdoor teams between 1966 and 1969, which defeated 52 straight opponents.  Over a 10 year span, his teams did not lose a single dual or triangular met. In addition, he brought seven straight Heptagonal championships to Penn, and in 1972, the Quakers won their first IC4A championship in 52 years.  Indoors, Tuppeny’s teams were almost as successful, winning Penn’s first indoor Heptagonals title in 1971, the school’s first indoor IC4A title in 41 years in 1972, and posting a 54-20 dual-meet record.


In his 18 seasons the Relays director, Tuppeny was able to attract thousands of new fans and competitors by re-introducing the decathlon (after a 40 year hiatus) adding a marathon and in 1978, dedicating a complete day for women’s events. Participants increased from 6,000 to 9,000 during his tenure. He also hosted the NCAA track and field championship in 1976 and coached the US team at the World University games in 1979.