Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Author's Department

Physical Education

First Advisor

William F. Buckellew

Second Advisor

Walter S. Lowell


Purpose of the Study: The purpose of the study was to collect and arrange information leading to a compiled history that would accurately record the life and professional contributions of Dr. John M. Strahl to physical education and athletics at Greenville College. Another intent of the thesis was to bring into focus the significant effect of one man on an institution of higher education, a national organization, and numerous students and colleagues.

Procedure: The historical method of research was used to compile the biographical information necessary to complete the study. The primary source of information was Strahl; however, extensive use was made of questionnaire responses and personal interviews. The study depended heavily on information gathered from the 1949 through 1979 issues of The Papyrus and Vista, both publications of the Greenville College Student Association. Related information from Olivet Nazarene College and Taylor University was also read.

Findings: John Strahl has taught and coached at Greenville College for thirty years. During those years, Strahl served his institution by developing both the physical education and athletic departments into two of the largest on campus. He coached all seven of the men's varsity sports and made a lasting impact on the lives of his athletes and students.

Strahl's contributions were not limited to Greenville College. Early in his career he involved himself in the groundwork of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and became the president of that organization after serving in every position of the structure of the NAIA. His leadership in the NAIA was recognized by his selection to the United States Olympic Committee.

The investigation revealed that the majority of Strahl's former athletes and his peers agree that he had a positive influence on the growth of physical education and athletics and on the lives of those people with whom he taught, coached, and worked.

Conclusions: A significant influence of one man on his particular profession and on higher education in general has been made by John M. Strahl. One of the most successful individuals at Greenville College, he has also been one of the more influential and popular figures in the ranks of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.