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Phil Salzer

After graduating from Bradley University in 1961, Phil Salzer began his career as a teacher and coach at Farmer City where he stayed for three years coaching both Junior High Track & Basketball as well as underclass Football. In the Fall of 1964, Phil was hired at Peoria High School as a Social Studies teacher, and as an Assistant Coach in both Football and Track & Field. The following year, Coach Salzer was named as the Head Track & Field Coach for the Peoria High "Lions". Phil continued his education by earning a Masters degree from the University of Illinois in 1966.

During Coach Salzer's long tenure as the Peoria High Head Track Coach, his athletes set school records in every event. Phil's teams earned ten (10) Conference Championships, nine (9) IHSA District and Sectional titles and won thirteen (13) major Invitational Meets. Along the way, he qualified and placed numerous competitors in the IHSA State Meet. One such athlete placed fjrst and set a^ state Record in 1977 that still stands today. Three competitors went on to win NCAA Championships in Division I and Division III at the National Level. Respected for his coaching ability and knowledge of the sport, Phil Salzer was named Illinois Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1974

As an Assistant in Football for thirty-eight (38) seasons, Phil coached many aspects of the game at all levels. Associated with squads that won over two hundred and fifty (250) games, he helped them gain five Conference titles, finish undefeated twice and place second in Class 4A in the 1988 State playoffs. Actively involved with Football, he has been associated with the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) for better than forty (40) years.

Most notable is his work with the Illinois High School Association. Phil was instrumental in relocating the State Finals in both Basketball and Baseball to Peoria. From 1978 to 2004, Phil acted in some administrative capacity for the IHSA in Track & Field. From 1979 to 1990^Phil was supervisor of all Field Events at the Boys State Track & Field Finals. In 1991 he assumed the chairmanship of the IHSA Boys Track & Field Advisory Committee. At the same time, he was named Meet Manager of both the Boys' and the Girls' IHSA Track & Field State Meets. When the Boys' and Girls' Advisory Committee's merged, Phil was selected as the first Chairman. Phil held the Chairmanship through 2004. From 1978- 2004, Phil was an Official Rules Interpreter for the IHSA in Track & Field. He also served in an Official's role form 1970 through 2008 at the IHSA State Cross Country Meet, hosted by Peoria High School.

Recognized for his efforts, Phil has been selected as an Honorary Referee in both the IHSA State Cross Country and Track & Field Meets. He has received many meritorious service awards at the local, state and national level. Both the State Football Coaches' Association and the State Track & Field Coaches' Associations have recognized him. He has been inducted into the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame, Illinois Track & Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame, Illinois Football Coaches' Hall of Fame, Peoria High School Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2012 he was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame/2013 Illinois Track & Cross Country Officials Association - Hall of Fame