Donald F. Staffo, Ph.D.


Dr. Donald F. Staffo is professor and chairman emeritus of the Dept. of Health and Physical Education at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.  He also was Athletic Director at Stillman and was instrumental in starting the football program. Starting his 47th as an educator, he has served 35 years as a department chair.

            In 2013 Staffo was inducted into the National Association for Sport and Physical Education Hall of Fame.  The recipient of the 3 highest national awards given by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (Luther Gulick Medal, Honor Award, Charles Henry Award), Staffo is only the 2nd person in the country to win AAHPERD’s 3 highest national awards and be inducted into the NASPE Hall of Fame for Sport. Staffo is the recipient of the Luther Gulick Medal, the highest national honor in his profession. He also received the AAHPERD Honor Award and the Charles Henry Award, giving him the distinction of being only the 4th person in the country to receive the three highest awards given by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Staffo is the recipient of 6 national, 8 state, 5 distinguished alumni, two regional and ten institutional/local awards. He is in 5 Halls of Fame including the Ohio State University School of Education & Human Ecology Hall of Fame, Greater Utica (NY) Sports Fall of Fame, the State University of New York at Brockport Hall of Heritage and the Stillman Zeta Phi Beta Hall of Fame.

            His other major awards include the National Health & Fitness Association Henderson; the Alabama State Association for HPERD Honor, Ethnic Minority Leader and Professional Responsibility for Delivering Excellence awards; The Ohio State University School of Physical Activity & Educational Services Distinguished Alumni Award; SUNY Brockport Distinguished Alumni Award; and the first-ever Fulton-Montgomery Community College Distinguished Alumni Award, all of which are the highest awards given by each institution or organization. He is the only person to win all of Stillman's top awards (Teacher of the Year, Advisor of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Scholar of the Year three times).  He is the most and highest honored, most published, and longest running department chair in the 137-year history of Stillman College, as well as the first Stillman faculty member and department chair to be honored with the title emeritus.   He received the first sabbatical leave from Stillman in 30 years.

Staffo is the author of 10 books, more than 2,100 articles, and a health & fitness newspaper column that ran for over 20 years. He has made 73 presentations on the national, state and local level. He has served on 35 editorial and advisory boards. For the past 35 years he has simultaneously developed a second-career as an award-winning and nationally-published sports journalist. For the last 30 years he has covered University of Alabama football and basketball for the Associated Press, as well as for several publications.

            Prior to coming to Stillman in 1985, he was Director of Physical Education and Athletic Director at Alice Lloyd College where he implemented the physical education major and ALC’s move into the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and into the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Earlier he was a physical education teacher and coach of boys and girls sports in the public schools. Dr. Staffo is also a consultant and motivational speaker who is frequently called upon to speak at commencements, athletic banquets, civic and fraternal clubs.

Staffo received his B.S. degree from the SUNY-Brockport, M.A. from Western Kentucky University and earned his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. He completed post-doctoral work in the Injury Prevention Center in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.


Professional Philosophy


Through my teaching, administrative duties and writings I strive each day to make a positive contribution to and difference in the lives of as many people as I can in as many ways and on as many levels as I can. Beyond an educational impact to my students, through my column and other writings I try to not only provide information to the general public, but also bring some enjoyment to those who read what I write.  Professionally, when I retire, I don’t want to look back and have any regrets or feel that there was more that I could have done or should have done, but didn’t.




Contact Information

Dr. Donald F. Staffo
Stillman College
P.O. Box 1430
Tuscaloosa, AL 35403

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