• David A. Feigley
  • David A. Feigley
  • Professor Emeritus

University "In Memoriam" Page


Professional Background

 Dr. David Feigley came to Rutgers in 1977 as a Sport Psychologist whose professional coaching and academic research expertise included assisting athletes with techniques for coping with fear in high risk sports such as gymnastics and tower diving. His credentials also included combating psychological burnout and he is considered a national leader in coaching education. His Ph.D. is in Psychobiology from the Graduate School of Rutgers University.

Dr. Feigley is the founder of the Rutgers Youth Sports Research Council and was the primary author of the 5th edition of the Rutgers SAFETY Course (Jan., 2018) which, since 1988, has trained more than 285,000 volunteer youth sports coaches. He has authored legislation which provides significant civil immunity protection for volunteer coaches in New Jersey. The Sports Council's primary mission under the leadership of Dr. Feigley was to provide adults who work with young athletes with information on healthy child development within the context of organized youth sports. He re-assumed the position of Director of the Sports Council after stepping down as chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health (formerly the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies), a position he held for 17 years from 1995 to 2012.

Dr. Feigley was a key member of the National Task Force of National Association for Sport and Physical Education which established standards for coaching education programs, an event which has led to development of the National Accreditation Council for Coaching Education. He coached elite athletes in two different sports - gymnastics and springboard/platform diving. He was the owner/directory of Feigley's School of Gymnastics for 35 years, and during his active coaching career, his women's gymnastics teams were nationally ranked 7 of 12 years that he coached. He was the springboard diving coach at Rutgers from 1971 to 1973.

He taught courses in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Developmental Aspects of Coaching, and Youth Sports Administration. He was named College/University Teacher of the Year by the Eastern District Association of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. At Rutgers he received both the Presidential Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education for his teaching and the prestigious Presidential Award for Distinguished Public Service for his service in founding and directing the Sports Council.

He presented papers nationally and internationally including keynote addresses at the International Society of Sports Psychology Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1985 and the Pan-American Congress on Physical Education in 1997 in Quito, Ecuador. He was an active presenter in the field of applied sport psychology, especially related to elite gymnastics and youth sports. His most recent publications include an e-book in research design and statistics with co-author David Weiss entitled SPSS for Kinesiology and Health (Sept., 2017) and a 400-page book entitled Coaching the Child Behind the Athlete: A Developmental Approach to Youth Sport (Jan., 2018).