Frank Rutherford – “Father of Bahamas’ 1st Track and Field Olympic Medal” TV Interview

Frank Garfield Rutherford, Jr. MBE (born November 23, 1964) is a retired triple jumper from the Bahamas. He competed in three Olympic Games, and won a bronze medal in 1992, becoming the first Bahamian Track and Field Olympic medalist. He now runs a program which prepares young Bahamian students to play college basketball and American football in the United States.
He attended the University of Houston, where he received Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Computer Science. He became the first Bahamian to win more than three NCAA triple jump championships.
Rutherford won the Bahamas its first World Championship medal with a bronze in the 1987 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Frank was the US Indoor Track and Field champion in the triple jump in 1991 and still currently holds the triple jump record for the University of Houston. He followed that with winning a silver medal at the 1992 World Cup in Havana, Cuba. His personal best was 17.41 metres, a Bahamian record that has later been beaten by Leevan Sands. Rutherford is considered the Olympic pioneer in the Bahamas because he was the first to win medals at the Olympic and World Championship levels. He is considered the Father of Track and Field in the Bahamas.
The Frank Rutherford Foundation was started to give young Bahamians the opportunity to get a college education through academic and sports development much like Rutherford. The Foundation helps to mentor the development of these young students as a courtesy to his Country’s Youth Development Program. The students come to Houston, Texas to live with their families, where Rutherford, with the help of many of his friends in the business community and his retired professional athlete friends, trains and develops them academically, culturally, and spiritually to become complete, productive young adults who will one day achieve a NCAA Division I football or basketball scholarship. His goal for the students in the program is for them to receive a scholarship so they can obtain a college education.

Several people in the program have gone on to collegiate success. Two of his former students in the program are Devard and Devaughn Darling, who both received football scholarships from Florida State University. Devard went on to play in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens. The program has also put out Jeremy Barr, a power forward who attends the University of Nebraska on a basketball scholarship, and Ian Symmonette, a left tackle who attends the University of Miami on football scholarship. More than 60 Bahamian young people have been helped by Rutherford and his foundation and all of them have graduated from college. The following students are currently in the program: Dwight Miller, Probese Leo, Waltia Rolle,and Felicia Kelly.
Rutherford has been described as hardworking and very intelligent. His significant other, Milessa Tilford, runs the family businesses and, along with his mother, administrates the Frank Rutherford Foundation. In May 2003, Rutherford was appointed a Member in the Order of the British Empire for excellence in athletics.

(per Wikipedia® 2013)


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