Thousands of college and high school athletes continue to compete in t rack and swimming competitions that Joseph "Scrap" Chandler helped to originate as long ago as 1924.
Joseph Chandler was renowned as an athlete and a coach which has earned him a place in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame as well as the ODU Sports Hall of Fame.
A small man who captained both baseball and track teams at The College of William and Mary, Chandler hit several tape measure home runs and raced to records in 880 and mile competition. Hired by the Tribe as a coach upon graduation in 1924, he brought them IC4A membership, a track distinction that belongs to no other college south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Chandler transferred in 1942 to the Norfolk Division of The College of William and Mary to become coach, athletic director, and head of health and physical education program. He coached baseball and basketball until 1948. Chandler retired as athletic director in 1963 and gave up swimming in 1965 but continued as co-coach of the track team until he retired in 1968.
He played a key role in designing the new health and physical education field house and creating an excellent track inside Foreman Field. Chandler helped build a track program that included 26 straight dual meet wins and four Little Eight championships. He achieved national recognition for the college in baseball and he establish a highly regarded swimming program.
His vast stores of knowledge about both track and swimming was frequently sought by head coaches at major universities.
Chandler founded the following events: Tidewater Meet held since 1924 in Williamsburg, Virginia High School Swimming Meet, Little Eight track and cross country meets, Eastern District High School track and cross country meets, Eastern District swimming meet, and the Virginia High School Track Meet.
A fully endowed athletic scholarship commemorates his many contributions and enables other outstanding athletes to carry on in his tradition. The ODU swimming pool also has been named in his honor, partly in recognition of nearly 30,000 Virginia youngsters having learned to swim in a program he established in the mid-1940s.