Robert “Bob” Singer, Ph.D., retired chair of HHP’s Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology (formerly Exercise and Sport Sciences), passed away peacefully on Monday, May 20, 2019, at the age of 82.
Dr. Singer was a leading figure in the fields of motor learning and sport psychology and led the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences to international prominence during his 15-year tenure. He is remembered for his warm presence, lightning-quick wit and caring approach to teaching and mentorship.
“Many of our HHP colleagues were recruited by Bob and remain committed HHP faculty and staff members to this day,” said Christopher Janelle, associate dean. “Bob’s vision always prioritized people.”
After serving in the United States Army during the Korean War, Dr. Singer earned his doctorate from Ohio State University. He then worked as faculty for several universities, including a 17-year tenure at Florida State University, before joining UF in 1987.
Dr. Singer served as the head of several prestigious national organizations, including the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology Division, the American Psychological Association's Division of Exercise and Sport Psychology and the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He was a prolific researcher and published 17 books, over 200 professional articles and 25 book chapters during his decades-long career.
Recognized for his scholarly expertise, Dr. Singer was even called upon by the head of President Reagan's security detail to investigate psychological factors underlying movement following a 1981 assassination attempt. He also served as a skilled consultant to athletes and coaches across various sports.
In addition to dedicating his life to studying the psychology of sport and physical activity, Dr. Singer “practiced what he preached.” He was an accomplished sportsman and a champion of storytelling through the art of movement.
“Bob left a legacy here at HHP that will not be forgotten,” said Michael Reid, dean. “He is very much a part of us.”
Dr. Singer was a devoted husband to his wife Beverly (Tyre) Singer. They were happily married for 37 years. He is also survived by step-son Lance (Tina) Johnson and two grandchildren, Asher and Addrey Johnson, as well as one brother Neal (Jill) of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A memorial celebration of Dr. Singer’s life will be held June 29, 2019, 5:00 PM at the Center for Performing Arts, Fackler Foyer, 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dr Singer’s name can be made to can be made to the University of Florida Performing Arts, made out the UF Foundation Inc., Fund 4437, and sent to P.O. Box 14425,Gainesville, FL 32604-2425, attn: Gift Processing. Please note Bob Singer or UF Performing Arts [fund #4437] in the memo area.