Ted Wheeler was a track and cross country star at Evanston Township High School in Illinois (class of 1950). He continued his running career at the University of Iowa where he was an All-American. He ran the 1500 meters at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games. Ted Wheeler and his family moved to Oak Park in 1965, where they were among the earliest African American pioneers to settle here in that period. He was active in the civil rights and fair housing movement. Later, he returned to the University of Iowa where he became one of the first black coaches at a major university, serving as head coach of men's cross-country from 1979 to 1987, and head track coach from 1978 to 1997.