Arthur Lee Hubert Cortez

CortezTrack and Field

Art Cortez was born in Carthage in 1943, one of ten children of Lewis and Leta Cortez. He was an exceptional athlete at an early age, winning the Carthage City grade school championship in the pole vault in the 8th grade in 1957 competing for Eugene Field School. At Carthage High, he starred in football and basketball, but excelled in track and field.

In 1960, Art became the first Carthage track athlete to place in the Missouri State meet in 29 years, when he placed third in the broad jump and 4th in the pole vault, and was the first track athlete in Carthage history to place in two events at the State meet in the same year.

Art then attended Joplin Junior College where he started and lettered in football and basketball for two years, but again excelled at track and field. He often competed in nine events, and in 1963 broke the stadium record in the 100 yard dash at the Pitt State Relays.

Art continued his track and field career at the University of Kansas and in 1966 had outstanding success in the long jump, winning the Big Eight Conference Indoor Championship with a leap of 23’ 11.75” and placed second in the NCAA Indoor Nationals, earning All-American designation. At the national meet, Art broke the NCAA indoor record by nearly 2 feet, with a jump of 25’ 3 ½”, the best of his career. Art is quick to tell you he only held the record about 10 minutes, as the eventual winner of the competition broke his record to win the event. He was a member of the KU team that won the Men’s NCAA and USTFF Indoor National Championship in 1966.

Cortez received a B. S. in Education from KU in 1967, and a M. S. Ed. from Ohio University in 1974. He coached high school football and track and later track at Ohio University and Vincennes University where he was also instructor of Physical Education. While at Vincennes he coached an individual national champion and All-Americans in both cross country and track. He retired from coaching in 1982 and from teaching in 2000. Since 2000 he has been a full-time pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, presently serving in Evansville, IN.

Art and his wife Joyce have six children and 12 grandchildren.

8 thoughts on “Arthur Lee Hubert Cortez

  1. Uncle Art I didn’t now this, very interesting to say the least!. Well, congratulations. God bless, and I miss you.

  2. Coach Cortez was a great teacher for me. Not only to help me improve as a runner, but he also taught me some life lessons as I made my path to adulthood.

  3. I was in high school when coach Cortez coached at Ohio University in the 1970’s. He went out of his way to help me become a better jumper, and he recruited me to Ball State University. My biggest regret is that I didn’t get to be coached by him (he took the position at VU). Still grateful for his confidence in me, and for being a great role model.

  4. Hey Coach / Pastor , this one of your former track athletes from FH. JERRY WEAVER. It is hard to believe, but You are the main reason that I love track & field so much. As you may remember George Rose & I were your main athletes back when we trained up at OU. You definitely got all you could out of this guy. I really appreciate all you did for us and back then you scared the crap out me because you were so tall & athletic. Thank you so much for being the inspiration God used to addict me to the sport I still love s.d o much. By the way I became a Christian back in 1971 while at OU. We live in Cody, Wyoming. I’m still coaching track after 32 years. We’ve been to every Olympic track & field trials since 1976 but 4. I can’t believe my wife is still married to me after 46 years. God Bless you!!

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