John Lawther (1899-1996) was a basketball coach and professor of physical education at The Pennsylvania State University from 1936 to 1965.
This collection contains research papers, articles, notes, correspondence, course materials, committee reports, and leaflets pertaining to professor John Lawther's career in physical education, including some official papers of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (AAHPER) dating from 1958 to 1965.
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John Dobson Lawther was born in 1899. He received his bachelor's degree from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, and his master's degree from Columbia University. He completed additional studies at the University of Pittsburgh, New York University, and the University of Chicago, and eventually was granted an honorary doctorate in pedagogy from Westminster College. From 1926 to 1936 Lawther was an assistant professor of education and head basketball coach at Westminster College. He also coached varsity football and served as head of the Department of Education and Psychology from 1934 to 1936. In 1936 Lawther came to the Pennsylvania State College as basketball coach and assistant professor of physical education and athletics. His teams compiled a 150-93 record, and made the 1942 NCAA tournament. He resigned as basketball coach in 1949 to teach full time. In 1952 Lawther was named Assistant Dean in Charge of Resident Instruction for the College of Physical Education and Athletics. In 1957 he was promoted to Associate Dean. In 1958 he traveled to Lima, Peru, as a Fulbright lecturer in physical education, and in the 1960s he conducted summer basketball clinics in Mexico. Lawther was a well-known speaker in the sports world, as well as the author of Psychology of Coaching and co-author of Successful Teaching in PE. He was a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and served in leadership positions in many state and national sports organizations. He was also elected to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Basketball Hall of Fame and the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame. Lawther retired from The Pennsylvania State University with emeritus status in 1965. He died in 1996.