Daryl Siedentop ’60

It is with sadness that we share the news that Professor Daryl Siedentop passed away July 15, 2021. Our friend and colleague Daryl Siedentop was born on July 28, 1938. The love of his life Roberta (Bobbie) Siedentop was a primary physical education teacher whom Daryl met while she was studying at Ohio State. They were happily married for 44 years taking care of their many dogs, Bobbie’s horses, and their homes in Columbus and Pinehurst. In recent years, as Daryl’s health deteriorated and his memory failed him, Bobbie lovingly cared for him. Despite the challenges, she found ways to ensure his life was as comfortable, meaningful, and happy as his health circumstances allowed. She has kept in touch with his friends and former students. And she kept friends and colleagues abreast of their lives via Christmas cards, photos, emails, and phone calls. It has been her loving way of paying tribute to the joy Daryl got from connecting with, hearing from and reading about the lives and achievements his former colleagues and doctoral students.

Daryl spent most of his professional career as a Professor at The Ohio State University. While at The Ohio State University, he recruited a team of young faculty, not only creating a powerful team of pedagogical teachers and researchers in physical education and resulting in friendships that have lasted a lifetime. He was highly regarded for his outstanding leadership of and service to the College of Education at Ohio State including being appointed 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 was one of the founding fathers of Sport Pedagogy in North America. His scholarly contributions to Sport Pedagogy and Physical Education Teacher Education, in particular his mentorship of more than 80 doctoral students, leaves a legacy to our scholarly community. He was one of the world’s leading authorities on Sport Education for children and youth and is its most influential scholar in the analysis of teaching effectiveness in physical activity settings. 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, and several were privileged to co-author articles and textbooks with him.

In the early 1980s, Daryl created the Sport Education model and published his first book on the subject, Sport Education, in 1994. He consulted in the 1980s with the New Ministry of Education in New Zealand as they introduced Sport Education as a cornerstone of their Physical Education curriculum. He is also the author of 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 Clarke W. Hetherington Award (2008); 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.  He managed to impact their scholarly practice and thinking in ways they could have never imagined before they met Daryl. His preference was always for quiet conversations about ideas, away from the crowds that invariably gathered around him. Those who were privileged to spend time with Daryl are left saddened by his passing.

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