Dr. Robert Mechikoff

Dean-Division of Natural Sciences
Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science

Robert Mechikoff arrived at SDCC from San Diego State University where he taught history of sport and philosophy courses since 1981. He received his BA in Political Science from Long Beach State University as well as his MA in Physical Education. Professor Mechikoff earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University where he studied history and philosophy. He has also coached football and swimming at both the high school and college level.

Professor Mechikoff is an internationally recognized scholar, conducting extensive research and lecturing in the history and philosophy of the ancient and modern Olympic Games all over the world. He is a member of the Olympic Family, the International Society of Olympic Historians, and has served as Supervising Professor at the International Academy of Olympia, Greece on more than one occasion where he taught philosophy to graduate students from 25 different countries. In 1982, Professor Mechikoff served as Founding President and CEO of USA Volleyball (Men’s Team). The U.S. Olympic Men’s Team won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympiad. He is a frequent lecturer at the British Olympic Academy and numerous Olympic Academies and Universities around the world. His interest in sport in antiquity, especially Greek and Roman athletics, is evident in his research.

Since 2000, Professor Mechikoff has assisted in the work being conducted at the archeological site in Ancient Nemea, one of the four great athletic festivals of ancient Greece. He is a frequent visitor to the Olympic Museum and Studies Center in Lausanne, Switzerland and knows many members of the International Olympic Committee on a personal basis. Because of his international reputation as an Olympic scholar, the International Olympic Committee awarded him the title of “Distinguished Guest of the IOC” during the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. He is one of the few Kinesiology/Physical Education Professors who can (albeit with difficulty), translate ancient Greek from their original sources. He speaks and reads French, Modern Greek, Spanish, and Russian. In addition to his scholarly contributions in history and philosophy, Professor Mechikoff has published several texts on sport psychology as well as an introduction to kinesiology text. He is frequently sought out by the media to share his expertise on issues pertaining to ethics in sport, fan behavior, coaching behavior, sport history, and the Olympics. He enjoys lecturing in North America as well as abroad. The sixth edition of his textbook, “A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education: From Ancient Civilization to the Modern World” was published by McGraw-Hill Publishers in 2013. When not in San Diego, he can usually be found in Greece or Turkey where he excavates ancient Greco-Roman athletic venues.