Diane G. Wright, Connecticut
Diane G. Wright, a pillar of the New Haven, Connecticut track and field community, has dedicated 50 years to the sport as a coach, an official, a mentor, and an award- winning physical educator. The reach of her service to her community and to the sport of track and field has extended to participants of all ages across the full range of experience, skill, and ability.
In 1975, Diane co-founded the New Haven Age Group Track Club with a mission of introducing youth and their families to the sport of track and field to promote physical fitness and to provide opportunities for youth to experience healthy competition. Since its inception, the program has served as a beacon of opportunity for aspiring athletes, nurturing talent from the youth to the international level.
She describes the most rewarding aspect of her coaching career as having the privilege of witnessing the transformation of young people as they not only excelled on the track but also progressed academically. Thanks to their involvement in the New Haven Age Group Track Club, many participants were able to earn college track and field scholarships to college. Diane recognizes the pivotal role the program played in providing opportunities for youth who may not have otherwise pursued higher education.
In addition to her coaching endeavors, Diane’s contributions as a track and field official are equally remarkable. For half a century, she has served the sport as an official, with forty years of her tenure with USA Track and Field. Her expertise earned her the honor of officiating the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the Special Olympics World Games. She has also served the sport as an official at the USA Olympic Track and Field Trials, NCAA Championships, Junior Olympics National Championships, Masters National Championships, Senior National Championships, and the World Cerebral Palsy Games. In 2003 and 2006, the IAAF Caribbean Islands invited her to serve as a lecturer for the Electronic Timers and Starters Seminar.
Throughout her career, Diane has mentored numerous aspiring track and field officials. She describes her greatest reward as the girls and women she worked with flourishing within the sport. Her mentorship extended a hand of opportunity to aspiring officials, while also promoting diversity and inclusion in track and field leadership roles.
Diane graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. In 1991, she earned a Master of Science in Urban Studies with a certification in Early Childhood Education, also from Southern Connecticut State University. Her academic background as a physical educator laid a strong foundation for her work as a coach and an official.
Diane Wright’s legacy is one of commitment and dedication to youth and young adult development through track and field. Her impact on the sport, both as a coach and as an official, endures through the lives of the athletes and officials she has served.