Campus News

Former Faculty Member and Coach Fred Shults ’54 Dies

June 12, 2020

Communications Staff

Fred Shults Field with a blue sky and clouds.
The soccer and lacrosse field is named for Fred Shults ’54
Photo credit: Janine Bentivegna

Shults was a professor, coach, and champion of physical education at Oberlin.

Fredrick Davis Shults ’54, Oberlin professor, athletics coach, and alumnus for whom the soccer field is named, died on Monday, June 8, 2020. He was 88 years old.

Shults was born February 7, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. He enrolled at Oberlin College in 1950 and participated in soccer, baseball, and basketball, serving as captain of the soccer and baseball teams as a senior. Shults received All-American recognition in soccer during his senior year. He graduated in 1954 with a double major in physical education and history. 

In 1960, Shults accepted a full-time position at Oberlin as assistant professor in the Physical Education Department for Men. He obtained tenured status in 1964 and became a full professor in the Physical Education Department in 1981. Shults made the case that the physical education major was a vital part of a liberal arts curriculum. In campus debate over whether the physical education major should continue at Oberlin, he strongly urged policies to upgrade the quality of the program.

As an athletics coach, Shults led the varsity soccer, junior varsity basketball, and varsity lacrosse programs for the college.

His achievements as an Oberlin student athlete and coach were acknowledged by his induction into the Oberlin Heisman Club Hall of Fame in 1992. He retired from Oberlin in 1994.

Read Shults’ obituary in the Chronicle-Telegram.

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