DARYL SIEDENTOP, Ph.D.
July 28, 1938 – July 15, 2021
National Academy of Kinesiology – Fellow #264
Ohio State University Professor Emeritus Daryl Siedentop, 82, passed away on July 15, 2021. He was an avid golfer and runner later in life. Dr. Siedentop was inducted into the Academy in 1979 (Fellow # 264) and was the 2008 Hetherington Award recipient.
Daryl was born on July 28, 1938, in Chicago, IL, and spent his childhood developing his passion for play on the south side of Chicago. During his acceptance of the Hetherington Award, he acknowledged the influence of his brother Larry on his academic career. While his brother graduated from Hope College summa cum laude and went on to Harvard to pursue a master’s degree followed by doctoral studies at Oxford University in England, Daryl was, in his words, “a mediocre economics major” who enjoyed playing basketball and baseball for Hope College. Those of us who were fortunate enough to study with him, are very happy for his lack of passion for the study of Economics. After graduating from Hope College in 1960, Daryl stayed at this institution for 10 years as a teacher and coach. During that time, he earned his master’s degree from Western Michigan University and his doctorate in Physical Education from Indiana University. In 1970 he joined the faculty in the College of Education at The Ohio State University where he spent the rest of his professional career.
After his first year at OSU, he recognized the need for students in his methods classes to see a good teacher in action. He asked Naomi Allenbaugh whether she knew of such a person, and she recommended Bobbie Holloway who was teaching at the Maryland Avenue Elementary School in Bexley. This recommendation led to a long-term relationship (44 years of marriage) where Bobbie was both a supporter and advisor on quality physical education. In his 2008 Hetherington Award acceptance, he noted that the most honest answer to “who influenced the other more” would be to say that it was a draw.
While at The Ohio State University, he recruited a team of young faculty, creating a powerful team of pedagogical teachers and researchers in physical education that were both friends and colleagues. As a young professor, he attended a motor learning conference in Canada where he met Ann Gentile. He was very impressed by her relationship with her doctoral students and how the dynamic of the group lacked hierarchical posturing. He implemented a similar model with his graduate students and achieved a collegial relationship in which third, second and first-year doctoral students worked as teams. First year students learned how to utilize research strategies, while second year students served as data collectors for third year students. This gave the third-year students experience of learning how to plan and manage a research study. During his career, he mentored 81 doctoral students.
Daryl’s dissertation at Indiana University proposed the notion of physical education being associated with Play Theory which was rooted primarily in the work of Roger Caillois. He sent several chapters of his dissertation to Larry Locke for advice on publication. This request for guidance led to a long and productive relationship that also included running marathons and publications.
Daryl was one of the founding fathers of Sport Pedagogy in North America. His scholarly contributions to Sport Pedagogy and Physical Education Teacher Education, are his legacy to our scholarly community. Daryl connected the notion of play with his experience in sport to develop an Instructional Model called Sport Education where all children and youth could experience the benefits of belonging to a team and cooperating with others to achieve meaningful results. Not only does the model promote skill development but it also helps youngsters learn to trust and support others as they work together toward a meaningful goal. In the 1980’s, he consulted with the New Ministry of Education in New Zealand as they introduced Sport Education as the cornerstone of their Physical Education curriculum. In 1994, he published his first book on the subject, Sport Education.
During his doctoral studies at Indiana, his closest friend was Brent Rushall, who introduced him to the research field of behavior analysis and the tenets of radical behaviorism. This work provided the methodology to do productive research on the analysis of teaching effectiveness in physical activity settings. In the mid-1970’s he created OSU’s first graduate class on Single Subject Experimental Design, a course that he taught for more than 20 years every Monday night from 7-9:30 in Pomerene Hall.
Daryl’s contributions to Physical Education cut across four key themes (Play Theory, Sport Education, Physical Activity Policy and the US National Physical Activity Plan, and Physical Education teaching and teacher education research). His mentoring and research with colleagues and doctoral students brought him much pleasure and many lifelong friends. He so much enjoyed hearing of the achievements of those scholars; several were privileged to co-author articles and textbooks with him.
He was highly regarded for his outstanding leadership of and service to the College of Education at Ohio State including the appointment as Senior Associate Dean of the College of Education and as Interim Dean of the College of Education. After retiring, Daryl assumed initial leadership of OSU’s new P-12 Project, a university-wide outreach initiative to support urban school improvement in Ohio. In 2005, he accepted an appointment as research professor and director for the Teacher Quality Partnership, a consortium of Ohio’s 50 colleges and universities designed to enhance teacher quality and ensure highly qualified teachers in every classroom.
Daryl authored several books on physical education, curriculum planning, and sport coaching. In recognition of his scholarly contributions, in 1979, Daryl was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Education (later to be the National Academy of Kinesiology). He earned the 1984 International Olympic Committee President’s Award (Samaranch Award), which is the highest honor for work in Sport Pedagogy.
He was a highly sought-after and respected international keynote speaker and received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Hope College in 1991 and Indiana University (1995); the Curriculum and Instruction Academy Honor Award from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) in 1994; the Alliance Scholar Award (1994) and C.H. McCloy Honor Award (1998) from American Alliance for Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD); induction into the NASPE’s Hall of Fame in 2006; the 2008 Clarke W. Hetherington Award from the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK); and AAHPERD’s highest honor, the Luther H. Gulick Award in 2010.
Daryl retired from OSU in 2001 and was recipient of the Ohio State Hall of Fame Award in 2006, a highlight for him, given his passion for and commitment to Ohio State over many decades. And in 2011, Hope College presented Daryl (as well as his brother Sir Larry Siedentop) with honorary doctoral degrees as alumni.
The countless awards and recognitions for Daryl’s achievements and accomplishments in the academy are a clear reflection of the impact he had on the field of Physical Education. He should however be remembered as well for other aspects of his life. First, there was his boundless passion and love of sport. While never deifying it, he saw its value and importance as something that deserves to be preserved, supported, and enhanced. Second, the care and commitment he showed to his many students, colleagues, and friends was evident in his relationships both while they were part of the OSU program and during their careers. Although he has left us physically, his impact lives on with his writings and the work of his doctoral students (and their students) as they continue the journey that he began over 50 years ago.
Daryl is survived by his wife Bobbie, his brother Sir Larry Siedentop in England, Martha (Jim Kline) Holloway, Tim (Cathy Kane-Holloway) Holloway, Ron Hutchison, nieces and nephews Timmy, Casey, and Caitlin Holloway, and Laura Hutchison.