Thomas Baechle, Ph.D.

Professor Thomas R. Baechle a National Leader in Exercise Science

Thomas R. Baechle, Ph.D., chair of Creighton’s Department of Exercise
Science, believes in practicing what he preaches. That’s why he
encourages his students to earn nationally respected certifications—and
he does the same.

Baechle, who joined the Creighton faculty in the late 1970s, is executive
director of the certifying body for the National Strength and Conditioning
Association (NSCA), the NSCA Certification Commission. He also serves
as president of the National Organization for Competency Assurance, an
international organization that sets quality standards for credentialing
organizations. He has earned credentials from the:

  • NSCA Certification Commission as a certified strength and conditioning specialist and certified personal trainer
  • American College of Sports Medicine as a test technologist and exercise specialist
  • United States Weightlifting Federation as a Level 1 weightlifting coach.

Baechle is co-founder, past president and former director of education for
NSCA. In 1998, he received the NSCA Lifetime Achievement Award.

He specializes in working with the over-50 population, and has 20-plus
years of experience teaching weight training and strength training for
college athletes. He has authored several strength-training texts. The
third edition of Fitness Weight Training, which he co-authored with Roger
W. Earle, a former Creighton faculty member, came out in January 2014.

Baechle has served as editor for NSCA’s Essentials of Strength Training
and Conditioning, a comprehensive text that has contributed to the
growing number of university-level courses that prepare professionals for
careers in strength and conditioning. Three of his texts have been
translated into French or Japanese.

At Creighton, he’s received the Excellence in Teaching Award. As chair,
he runs the department and is in charge of directing all student

Baechle believes hands-on opportunities, excellent faculty, strong
advising and interesting courses are why exercise science has grown
from a small major to the fifth largest at Creighton.

“Students feel like they are an important part of this department and its
success,” he says. “While the number of majors has continued to grow,
students continue to enjoy close mentoring relationships with faculty.”

In his free time, Baechle enjoys biking, golfing, strength training,
woodworking and making crafts.

“I have a whole set of power tools in my basement,” he says. “I like to
make gifts for people—everything from decoupage to furniture.”