Don Sebolt, P.E.D. (March 21, 1998) passed away at the age of 62 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He began his career in education as a high school physical education teacher and coach in Harrodsburg, Kentucky before earning a master's degree from the University of Kentucky and then a doctorate from Indiana University.
Sebolt joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1964 and helped shape the university's curriculum and research in health and physical education and exercise science. His roles included varsity tennis coach, coordinator of the Muscular Function Research Laboratory, and coordinator of fitness-and-wellness instructional-services programs.
With colleagues Janet Rankin and William Herbert, Sebolt established Virginia Tech's Exercise Physiology Laboratory (now the Human Integrative Physiology Laboratory). His research focused on evaluation and measurement of the effects of physical activity, and the relation of muscle function to physical fitness and sports performance.
Sebolt was part of the Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in the College of Education, until that college was downsized. In 1994, exercise science faculty transferred to the newly constituted Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. Sebolt taught a graduate course in research design and measurement in exercise science, which guided students in statistical analysis and development of research proposals. He also taught courses in skeletal-muscular function in exercise and an undergraduate course in tests and measurements related to physical activity and sports.
Sebolt was active in professional and academic associations, including the American College of Sports Medicine; the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance; and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Through the Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (VAHPERD), he worked with public schools to establish achievement in fitness as a part of education in Virginia. VAHPERD honored him for chairing the group's state research section and conducting a critical analysis of Virginia's physical fitness test. The Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy also honored him for his work on physical-fitness assessment for law enforcement personnel.
Each year, HNFE awards the Don Sebolt Fitness/Wellness Research Award in his memory, which supports student participation at a scientific conference to present research on the health aspects of physical fitness.
See the Graduate Scholarships and Awards page for more information.