Scott has been involved in various athletic endeavors since he took his bicycle training wheels off “just a bit too early” and ripped his face open on a garden sprinkler. Kennedy was in the White House then and Tinley has earned many more bodily scars than there have been presidents.
He began competing in triathlons and other multisport competitions in 1976 while studying Leisure Management at San Diego State University (really) and working as a sailing instructor. As the sport of triathlon gained in popularity he devoted more and more time to his training and competitive endeavors, finally turning pro in 1983. Between those early years and his move back to the amateur ranks in 1999, Tinley competed in over 400 triathlons, winning close to 100 of them, making him one of the top three winning triathletes of all time.
He won the Ironman World Championship twice (1982, 1985) and the Ironman World Series three times. He was inducted into both the Triathlon and Ironman Hall of Fame upon retirement in 1999.
Near the end of his professional career he helped found and develop the sport of offroad triathlon and continues to co-own and manage the longest running offroad triathlon in the world, Scott Tinley’s Adventures in San Luis Obispo, California.
During his tenure Tinley helped launch and manage the successful Tinley Performancewear line of clothing and eventually sold the company in 1992. He has done television commentary for CBS, ESPN and ABC. He’s written five books within the sports genre: instructional, reference, oral history, collected essays and memoir. (see Publications for further details)
Tinley continues to stay close to professional and amateur sport as a researcher, college lecturer, marketing consultant, coach, columnist, writer and participant. His latest passion is ocean paddleboard racing where he regularly places in the top three in his class.
Scott lives near the beach in Del Mar, California and on a ranch west of Gaviota, California with his wife Virginia. Scott has two children, Torrie (29) and Dane (25).