George James Guida, born on August 29, 1924 and died September 7, 2015 in San Francisco, where he had lived for more than 50 years.
He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Guida, remembered as a man of kindness and humility, was one of the first great runners to compete for Villanova’s now-storied track program.
But it is not just what Mr. Guida did in competition that made him such an important figure for the team.
A friendship Mr. Guida struck up with an Irish runner at the 1948 Olympics in London continues to benefit Villanova today.
Mr. Guida grew up in South Philadelphia, one of eight children of an Italian immigrant father and a mother of Italian descent.
He was a standout sprinter and quarter-miler while at Southeast Catholic High School, earning a scholarship to run at Villanova.
His time at Villanova was punctuated by service in the Navy during World War II.
A 1945 article in The Inquirer described Mr. Guida, who held a national junior record in the 200 meters at the time, as a humble phenom.
George Guida died at age 93 on September 7, 2015.