Burdell Chapman is a former walk-on track star at West Virginia University. Burdell was born in Charleston, WV and attended Charleston High School where he was a member of the 1960 State Championship team.
Originally, Burdell attended college at West Virginia State before transferring to WVU to participate on the 1964 and 1965 track team. While at WVU, Burdell established both athletic and academic records. He was a member of the 1964 Southern Conference Championship team and returned the next year to place fourth in the 440 yard dash with a time of 49.1 seconds.
Burdell is a member of the school record setting 880-yard and mile relay teams and in 1965, became the first African-American student to graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering.