The Ty Terrell Track is home to the Lamar University Track & Field team. Constructed to its present makeup in 1978 (followed by resurfacings in 1983, 1990, and 2001), the track is a Monsanto all-weather Astro-Turf facility with a granular surface and seating for 500 fans. The facility, originally a red-cinder track built in 1958, is named after Lamar's first full-time Track & Field coach Ty Terrell, who coached the Cardinals from 1955 to 1968. The track, along with Lamar's premier home meet, the Ty Terrell Relays, was dedicated to Coach Terrell following his passing, along with five members of the track team, in a plane crash at Beaumont Municipal Airport in 1968.
The Ty Terrell Relays continue to be a major event for Southeast Texas track and field buffs, although on a different scope from their original concept. Conceived in 1962 by coaches Ty Terrell (Lamar), Stan Wright (Texas Southern) and Johnny Morriss (University of Houston), the meet began to blossom when it moved to Beaumont in 1964.
Originally designed as a late season event for regional athletes in between conference and national meets, the Ty Terrell Relays attracted elite competitors from across the south and southwest.
To realize how big-time the Ty Terrell Relays have been, all you have to do is refer to the men's record section. Among the record-holders are 1968 Olympic champions Randy Matson and Willie Davenport.