Edgar Ole Larson, ED.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Edgar Ole Larson, ED.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 23, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/48048.

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>


Edgar Ole Larson, ED.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage


Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Health Education, Physical Education and Leisure Studies Edgar Ole Larson (April 13, 1921-), was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, the youngest of four sons of Clara Weik and Oscar Larson. Larson's father, Oscar, was a conductor for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroads for fifty years. Larson spent his early school years in Wausau, Wisconsin. In high school, he participated in football (student manager), basketball (state championship, 1938; runner-up, 1939), boxing (captain), and tennis (captain). He graduated from high school in 1939, and worked as a truck driver and as a baker for a year following graduation. Larson attended St. Olaf College in North-field, Minnesota (1940-42), where he majored in physical education and history. He lettered in basketball, swimming, and tennis (captain). In 1942, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a seaman and was honorably discharged in 1946 as a chief petty officer. His duties consisted of instructing swimming and doing experimental work in air-sea rescue at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. While at Pensacola, he was on the station's basketball, swimming, and tennis teams. Upon his discharge, Larson attended the University of Minnesota in Duluth but later returned to St. Olaf College, where he graduated in 1948. Larson married Gardia Nelson in 1947 and the couple has three sons: Stephen Weik, Erik Jon, and Chris Robert. In the fall of 1948, Larson accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, where he taught physical education and served as the men's varsity tennis coach. He graduated in 1949 with an M.S. degree in physical education. During 1949, Larson went to Havre, Montana, as that city's first director of city recreation. He left the following year to take the position of athletics director and head varsity basketball coach at Northern Montana College (University of Montana). He retained this position for twelve years, leaving in 1962 for Valparaiso, Indiana, where he served as head freshman football coach and men's varsity swimming and tennis coach. During 1961-62, Larson went to the University of Oregon at Eugene to work full-time on a Ed.D. degree in physical education (basic sciences) and higher education, while serving in a graduate teaching fellowship. Larson came to Appalachian State University in 1968 as a professor in the health, physical education, and recreation department and earned tenure in 1969. While at Appalachian State, Larson served two terms as acting chair and six years as chair of the newly named Department of Health Education, Physical Education, and Leisure Studies, the largest academic department on the Appalachian campus. With his outstanding and enviable background, Dr. Larson was not only well-qualified to administer such a large department, but was able to develop the department by adding new positions and new programs. Larson's departmental and university committee assignments have included Departmental Personnel Committee, Fine and Applied Arts Council, Council of Chairs, Teacher Education Council, Graduate Council and University Scheduling Committee. Larson was the men's and women's head varsity swimming coach for ten years and was voted the Southern Conference coach of the year for 1977-78. He coached two "most valuable" swimmers of the Southern Conference and many all-conference swimmers. Larson also was responsible for starting the women's swimming team at Appalachian State and played a leading role in the original organization of the Watauga County age group swim team and the Watauga High School swimming team. He also has conducted numerous clinics. Professionally, Larson held memberships in the American College of Sports Medicine (emeritus member); the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; the North Carolina Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; and the American Association of University Professors. He has served terms as chair of the aquatic section of the state level and was for two terms chair of the aquatic section for the Southern District of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Larson retired from his position at Appalachian State University in 1986 and was granted emeritus status by the Board of Trustees that year. In his retirement, Larson swims, plays tennis, reads, writes, and travels extensively. On one trip, he and his wife motored to Alaska for several months. Sources: Long association and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

Social Bookmarking


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>