Joe Dial’s story is one of hard work, perseverance, dedication and determination. Starting at age five when he began pole vaulting in the family’s front yard his under the watchful eyes of his father and long-time coach, Dean Dial, Joe had the sport literally ingrained in his DNA.
His older brother Rex was a state champion in the pole vault and just about every member of the Dial clan participated in the sport, including his grandfather, father, his siblings, his three sons, and several nieces and nephews.
Practicing for hours every day – from breakfast until sunset – in the small Oklahoma town of Marlow, Joe knew early on that he wanted to make the sport of pole vaulting his life’s work.
Competing as a professional on the world stage and then serving as head track and field coach of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Joe was able to make his dream come true. High school state championships, collegiate conference championships, NCAA championships, American records, and even a World record were ultimately achieved.
The book follows Joe and his athletic and personal development through the years as he rose to prominence in the track and field world.
Besides including details of many of his meets and other accomplishments through the years, the book also captures many of the interesting, humorous and sometimes embarrassing, moments behind the scenes which Joe experienced through his world-wide travels as he competed on five continents.
Experimenting with vaulting poles with his father-coach, taking his first international trip alone at age 17, suffering the tragic death of an adopted son, enduring and overcoming numerous injuries, meeting the Pope and nearly coming to blows with one of his chief rival on the track circuit are just a few of the adventures described in the book.
But his successes, titles, championships and records are outlined so the reader can fully appreciate the magnitude of Joe’s accomplishments. Being a humble, modest and self-effacing individual, Joe never drew attention to himself or boasted of his many impressive deeds.
Hopefully, this book will let readers know more of Joe Dial and his role in the world of track and field.