|Born||August 25, 1955|
|Height||191 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||77 kg (170 lb)|
|Club||Arkansas State Indians|
Pacific Coast Club, Long Beach
|Coached by||Guy Kochel|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||5.87 m (1988)|
Earl Holmes Bell (born August 25, 1955) is a retired American pole vaulter. He competed at the 1976, 1984 and 1988 Olympics and won a bronze medal in 1984, placing fourth in 1988 and sixth in 1976.
In 1976 he also briefly held the world record. In retirement he coached several America's leading vaulters. In 2002 he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Bell was born in Panama to William "Papa" K. Bell and Yola Zimmerman Bell. His father was a medical doctor, a Masters Record Holder pole vaulter, and attended the University of Arkansas. The family moved from Panama to Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1960, and in 1973 Bell entered the Arkansas State University. He graduated in 1988 with a BSc degree in accounting. While attending Arkansas University, Bell won the NCAA title in 1975–77. He also won the AAU championships in 1976 and 1984, placing third in 1981. Besides Olympics, Bell won a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games and finished fifth in 1991.
Bell came to the 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials as the world record holder. At the Trials he lent his pole to David Roberts, who broke his pole. Roberts won the Trials with a new world record, and placed third at the Olympics, while Bell finished second and sixth, respectively.
After retiring from competitions Bell established Bell Athletics outside of Jonesboro, where he coached Jeff Hartwig, Derek Miles, Kellie Suttle, Daniel Ryland, and Jillian Schwartz, among other top pole vaulters.
Bell is married and has three children: Drew, Sam, and Henry.
Rare among vaulters, Bell managed to stay relatively healthy and productive for a long career, gaining US rankings among the best for 16 consecutive years in the Track and Field News annual rankings.
|Year||Event||World ranking||US ranking|