Long before he launched a decorated political career during which he has represented the state of Tennessee with distinction on the national and international stage, United States Senator Lamar Alexander was a Vanderbilt student-athlete. Discovered and recruited by Vanderbilt track and field coach Herc Alley as a student in 1960, Alexander joined the men's track team for his sophomore and junior years of school, running the one-mile relay, 440-yard dash and 440-yard relay for the Commodores. He filled out a talented relay team that would set school records and remain competitive against its Southeastern Conference opponents despite operating without athletic scholarships. He carried his affinity for physical exercise into his political life when he walked 1,000 miles across the state of Tennessee wearing a red and black checkered shirt during his campaign for governor in 1978.
Set a school record of 42.7 seconds in the 440-yard relay in a race against Tennessee in 1961
Competed on a relay team with Lynn Mahan, Kent Russ and Guy Tallent
Graduated in 1962 with a B.A.
Governor of Tennessee, 1979-1987
President of the University of Tennessee, 1988-1991
U.S. Secretary of Education under George Bush from 1991-1993
U.S. Senator from Tennessee since 2003 (Senior senator since 2007)
Currently serves as the Republican Conference Chair
One of six recipients of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 1987
Named 59th on the NCAA's "100 Most Influential Student-Athletes" list in 2006
Only Tennessean ever to be popularly elected both governor and U.S. senator