Gustafson, William F. (1926-2016)

Gustafson, William F. (1926-2016)

Date Updated



Human Performance

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

University of Iowa, 1955 PhD

Northwestern University, 1949 MA

Northwestern University, 1948 BS

Teaching Experience

San José State University, 1955-1987; (FERP) 1990

University of Iowa, 1952-1955

DePaul University, 1950-1952

Milwaukee University School, 1949-1950

Administrative and Professional Experience

World War II (3 years Navy), 1943-1946

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education. North American Society for Sports History. Phi Kappa Phi. Society for American Baseball Research. Western College Physical Education Society.

Selected Publications

One textbook

Many published book reviews

Contributor to various books, and many articles in professional journals, papers to learned societies, and letters to editors

Intercollegiate Sports: The Amateur Ideal vs. the Commercial Enterprise. San Jose Studies,2(1), 20-31(1976)

Personal Commentary


Date Completed: today

Bill Gustafson graduated from Senn High School in Chicago, enlisted in the navy's newly created V‑12 program at Northwestern as an electrical engineering major. He completed three years in the program in two calendar years, and was assigned to Columbia University's Midshipmen's School from which he was commissioned and assigned to a troop transport as a deck officer. Before his release to inactive duty in July 1946, he had also served on a destroyer tender and an LST.

He married in Evanston, IL in December, 1948, and completed an MA in June 1949. His first full‑time position was at Milwaukee University School where he taught biology, geometry, physical education, and served as an assistant coach and also as head of counseling. After one year, he was appointed instructor in physical education at DePaul University, Chicago. Gustafson left DePaul in the fall of 1952 when he was appointed instructor at University of Iowa, where he began work on a Ph.D., which was completed in August 1955. He was then appointed assistant professor in physical education and gymnastics coach at SJSU.

He advanced to associate professor in 1959, and to professor in 1963. He served as department chair, 1969‑72, one year as assistant to the president, interim associate dean and twice as interim dean of the School of Applied Sciences and Arts.

He is a founding member of the Society for American Baseball Research and served as its vice president in 1980. He was president of the Western College Physical Education Society, fellow of the Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, charter member of the North American Society for Sport History, and member of the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and chaired several of its committees. Following retirement he served the Emeritus Faculty Association as Newsletter editor, and president, and is also a member‑at‑large of the CSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association. He is a square dancer, golfer, and enjoys poker, badminton, and genealogy. He helps entertain patients each week at a local nursing home.

Date Completed: 11/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Gustafson, William F. (1926-2016)