Ken Doherty was an accomplished athlete in his days at the University of Michigan, winning the U.S. decathlon championship as well as taking the bronze medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, setting a national decathlon record the following year. What Doherty did to the Penn Relays and to the world of track and field, however, made a much larger impact.
While Doherty was finishing his 25-year coaching career with a 10-year stint at the University of Pennsylvania, he wrote his first track and field textbook, Modern Track and Field, in 1953. He wrote two more books in the 1960s and published several articles in track and field trade journals. Doherty came to be known as one of the leading track and field authors for three decades.
While Doherty was coaching the Red and Blue, he took the reigns of the Penn Relays, directing it from 1951 until 1969. The Relays was not the only event he directed, as he produced the Philadelphia Inquirer Games fro nine years, the U.S./U.S.S.R. dual-meet in 1959 and the NCAA Championships in 1961. Doherty was enshrined in the National Track Hall of Fame in 1961.