Photos -- Left: Pat Pomphrey, Official Photo, Shield-Watkins Field Track, 1962. Right: Captain Patrick Pomphrey, Jr. (Official USAF Photo, 2 Feb 1975)
1963-1966; Hurdler (High & Intermediate Hurdles & Shuttle Hurdle Relays), 4x110y Sprint
Relays; First UT T&F All-American (1966); Team Captain (1966); SEC Champion -- Indoor 60
Yard Low Hurdles (1964), Indoor 60 Yard High Hurdles (1964 & 1966), Outdoor 120 Yard
High Hurdles (1965 & 1966), Outdoor 330 Yard Intermediate Hurdles (1965), and Outdoor 440
Yard Relay (1965); National USTFF Champion -- Outdoor 120 Yard High Hurdles (1966); and
NCAA Place Winner -- Outdoor 120 Yard High Hurdles (4th in 1965), Indoor 60 Yard High
Hurdles (5th in 1966), and Outdoor 120 Yard High Hurdles (3rd in 1966).
BS Degree, College of Engineering, Engineering Physics, December 1966; Honorary Societies --
Sigma Pi Sigma (National Physics Honor Society) and Phi Eta Sigma (First Year University
Student Honor Society); Social Fraternity -- Lambda Chi Alpha, Epsilon-Omicron Zeta Chapter
(Member Student Senate, Men’s Chorus).
Primary Military Duties & Duty Stations:
liaison. Expert in laser effects, propagation, laser physics (carbon monoxide emission
spectroscopy, wavelength control), resonator design (parasitic suppression,
ring-resonator installation and analysis), and systems integration of the Air Force Laser II
(AFL-II) and Airborne Laser Laboratory (ALL).
- Section chief supervising four technical and one support personnel.
- Participated in first time laser-effects tests on pressurized fuel tanks forming the basis
for the current airborne laser missile defense strategy.
- Participated in first shoot-down of a drone-type aircraft by a high energy laser beam.
Air Force & Club Track:
1967-1970; Member Forty-Niner Track Club (Long Beach State College, CA), Athens Track
Club (Oakland, CA), US Air Force and Armed Forces CISM (Conseil International du Sport
Militair) National Track Teams.
Post Athletic and Military Professional Career:
AIAA/BMDO Interceptor Technology Conference (08/19/97), co-author.
- 1996 TRW Chairman’s Award, “Uncooled Silicon Optics for High Energy Laser
Systems”. For developing revolutionary uncooled high-power optics, an enabling
technology in the development of tactical and strategic high-energy laser systems”
- 1981 TRW Independent Research and Development Roll of Honor, Principal
Investigator, Advanced Optical Techniques & Alternate Resonator. In recognition of
outstanding work in planning and reporting on this project, as reflected by the high
grade awarded by government evaluators. Such performance is of direct benefit to TRW
and helps keep the Company in the forefront of advanced technology..
50 years have taken their toll of physical and mental capabilities, but here a few key
Technology’s field house while doing the Boston and New York indoor circuit
- Berkeley. Thanks to Sam Bell, Athletic Director at the University of California at
Berkeley, the Armed Forces Track & Field Team was invited to train at the Berkeley
Facilities during the summer of 1968. We were housed at Hamilton AFB , Novato, CA,
then commuted daily to Berkeley where we spent most of the day training. As an Air
Force officer, I was asked to give seminars to the Air Force ROTC group on campus.
1968 was the year of campus riots, killings at Kent State, the assassination of Martin
Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, and the Civil Rights Act. It was also the height of
anti-Vietnam feelings and demonstrations. We had to wear inconspicuous clothing while
visiting the ROTC Buildings (hiding the short hair among the Hippie population was
another matter). The mayor of Berkeley declared a State of Emergency and the city was
shut down. We got to observe Riot Police and helicopters daily while trying to train for
our events. Surreal!
- High Altitude Training. By qualifying in the Los Angeles Olympic Trials, I was able to
spend the late summer in South Lake Tahoe, training at the 7377 foot Echo Summit, 28
feet higher than Mexico City’s track. Learned about Sickle-Cell Anemia and Breathing
Techniques learned still practiced to this day. Got some expert hurdle training with Bill
Bowerman of the University of Oregon (and founder of Nike™). Training with other
world-class hurdlers on a daily basis. Food was everything. Catering by same crews that
support Forest Fire Hot Shot Teams. Injuries during training persisted through Olympic
Trials. Vagaries of the sport convinced me having a second career was a good thing
when later offered one of the first Professional Track & Field contracts (which I
- Goodwill Tour of Africa. Eye-opener for our educational preparation (Euro-oriented)
being inadequate to understand African culture. Cold-war struggles between Communist
and Western interests. AK-47 pushed in my face by Malian soldier. Coup d’etat after
leaving Mali. Long flights over Africa from Senegal, to Mali, to Ghana, to Ethiopia, to
Somalia, to Kenya, to Uganda, to Tanzania. Not to mention time from New York to
Senegal and Tanzania to New York. Caught Asian flu from a real Asian (Chinese).
Safari in Uganda memorable. Cold showers in new dormitory at University of Dar es
Salaam. Housed in un-used hospital in Mogadishu. Walking back to hotel through dark
streets of Kampala at night. Gained respect for our Foreign Service Officers for whom
the US is only a vacation spot.
So many others have commented on their positive experiences with Coach Rohe. I echo those
thoughts. Memorable was his:
looking back. I’m privileged to be associated with such a group as the Rohe Track Era athletes,
present and departed.