PHILADELPHIA - During this year’s 120th running of the Penn Relays, the University of Pennsylvania will dedicate its brand new, state-of-the-art throwing venue to one of the school's most beloved track and field coaches, Irving “Moon” Mondschein.
The official dedication of the Irving “Moon” Mondschein Throwing Complex -- considered one of the nation's premier throwing facilities -- will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 26.
"Irv was one of a kind, and my early mentor at Penn," said head women's track & field coach Tony Tenisci, who has served as the throws coach at Penn for the better part of three decades. "Standing next to him while coaching was a fantastic experience. He knew his athletes inside and out...he knew how to teach, guide and motivate them. All done with a great sense of humor and relaxation. His athletes just loved him and would do anything for their coach. His strength of character and undeniable belief in his athletes, made him legendary. Irv embodied all of the great qualities of a coach and his tireless dedication to his athletes and Penn is deserving of the wonderful recognition of having his name placed on the new state of the art throwing venue at Penn."
"Moon is a legend here at Penn and in the entire track & field community," said Penn's Director of Track & Field Steve Dolan. "His competitive accomplishments as an athlete and coach are astonishing achievements. Even more impressive is the positive impact that he has had on so many lives. Moon is recognized as a man of great character and is an inspiration to all coaches."
Moon began his coaching career at the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant track coach in 1965. When Penn Athletics Hall of Fame coach Jim “Tupp” Tuppeny retired in 1979, Moon took over the head coaching position, where he remained for eight years.
Moon was nationally renowned in his coaching expertise. At age 27, he coached Israel’s first Olympic team at the 1952 Helsinki Games. At age 62, while head coach at Penn, Moon was a member of the U.S. Track & Field coaching staff for the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
Moon was also an all-around athlete. While at New York University, he was all-East in football. But, it was in track and field where Moon had the greatest success. He was the National AAU decathlon champion in 1944, 1946, and 1947. In 1948, Moon placed second, earning him a spot on the United States Olympic Track & Field team, competing in the London Olympics, as a decathlete. Moon was also the NCAA champion in the high jump in 1947 and 1948.
Moon was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame, as well as into the NYU Athletics’ Hall of Fame, the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the New York Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.