5 Questions for Bob Nutgrass

5 Questions for Bob Nutgrass

by Peter KaspariStaff Writer

The phrase “physical education” can mean different things to different people. Some may be taken back to their childhood remembering when they could play basketball and not be worried about making the team. Others may remember the time and wish they could forget about it.

For Bob Nutgrass, professor of physical education, the phrase defines his entire career as an educator.

“I teach three courses a semester, do department head physical education duties, and I supervise P.E. and health student teachers,” Nutgrass said. “I spend a few hours doing tennis, because I’m the head coach for the boys’ and girls’ teams. When it’s out of season, I’m doing scheduling, working on awards, and pretty much every day I do recruiting.”

Before coming to Simpson College 18 years ago, Nutgrass taught physical education at two other schools.

“I was a physical education teacher in Macomb, Ill., where I taught elementary school for a year,” Nutgrass said. “Then I taught in Marshalltown K-12 for eight years. I also coached basketball and tennis for 12 years in those previous jobs and before that.”

Nutgrass graduated from Iowa Wesleyan with a major in physical education and recreation with minors in health and coaching. He earned his master’s from Western Illinois University in sports management with a teaching emphasis. He also earned his doctorate at Drake University.

When he’s not teaching at Simpson, Nutgrass enjoys working at his home doing gardening work and spending time with his family.

“A high priority now is playing with my grandson, who will be three at Thanksgiving,” Nutgrass said. “That’s never a dull moment.”

He also enjoys playing golf and tennis in his spare time.

Nutgrass said that his favorite part about being at Simpson is the students.

“The students are here for an education and they’re here for a good reason,” he said.

His advice to students is to “get invested in what you want to do as a career. Get the most out of [your] education that you can.”