Navigate Left
  • Photo taken by Molly Myers on Sept. 3, 2023 downtown across from where the Farmers Market is held.


    Abandoned shoes in Chico: photo series

  • Left side of table, Jenna McMahon, Nathan Chiochios and Jessica Miller sit with, on the right side front to back, Callum Standish, Molly Myers, Nadia Hill, and Grace Stark at  Estom Jamani Dining Commons. Photo taken April 29 by a kind employee at the dining hall.


    The Orion tries the dining hall

  • Both faculty members’ and students’ mental health are suffering due to a lack of support at Chico State and across the California State University System. Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.


    Faculty, students’ mental health continue to suffer

  • Thanks to horror films, some names have been ruined ... or made cool. Photo by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels.

    Arts & Entertainment

    Names horror films have ruined … or made cool

  • Sydney Sweeney in Immaculate. Photo courtesy of NEON.

    Arts & Entertainment

    He said, she said: ‘Immaculate’

Navigate Right
Breaking News
Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State professor retires after 50 years of teaching

Thomas Fahey warms up with the class by doing kettlebell swings each morning. Photo credit: Mathew Miranda

After a successful career in teaching and discus throwing, Thomas Davin Fahey, jokingly explained that his first purchase after retiring would be a small sign that reads “will lecture for food.”

Fahey, a 71-year-old kinesiology professor, began teaching at Chico State in August of 1984. The alumnus of San Francisco State previously worked at UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, Stanford University School of Medicine and as a Doping Control Director for the 1984 Olympic Games.

Fahey also holds an extensive background in discus throwing, beginning in 1969 when he was named a NCAA All-American. He went on to be ranked number one in the world for 12 years, win 11 straight national championships and receive the USA Track and Field lifetime achievement award in 2008.

Fahey elaborated on his role as an educator and its value to younger generations.

“The students are very good people persons and for the most part they’re very dedicated,” Fahey said. “We have a really important role to help them be the best they can and help the kids of California.”

Thomas Fahey, a former world champion at discus throwing, will retire after 50 years of teaching. Photo credit: Tara Killoran

Katelyn Douglas, a senior majoring in Kinesiology, credits the strength and conditioning professor for introducing her to Olympic lifting, teaching the proper form and helping her fall in love with the sport.

“He is able to break down hard concepts and tell it to you in a way that you’re going to smile when you think about it later,” Douglas said.

Douglas, along with other members in his kinesiology 390 class, decided to pay homage to Fahey by ordering shirts with some of his famous sayings. These include, “add more weight” and “best buns on campus.” The class plans to unveil the shirts to Fahey on Friday.

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 8.13.00 PM.png
Katelyn Douglas created the design for the shirts after members of the class brought the idea to her attention. Photo courtesy of Katelyn Douglas

Douglas also spoke on why his presence will be missed.

“Fahey’s door is always open, he’s always joking and laughing, so I think it is definitely going to damper the department and everyone is going to talk about him and miss him,” Douglas said.

“Everyone that knows Fahey loves Fahey,” added Douglas.

Thomas Fahey takes a photograph with Strength and Conditioning class each year and took his final one last month. Photo courtesy of Thomas Fahey

Fahey, an author of over 25 books, wrote “Getting Into the Olympic Form,” in which he interviewed Olympians to find out what makes them so successful.

He discovered they identify the nature of a problem and determine a way to overcome it. Fahey attempted to pass this lesson down to his students throughout his years of teaching.

“Life’s kind of a competition and I think we tend to forget that at Chico State,” Fahey said. “When you get out you’re going to be up against everybody. You should ask yourself ‘what is it going to take to achieve this’ and then you just go out and do it.”

After retiring, Fahey plans to help people internationally. He’s working with individuals from Latin America to set up a sports medicine institute that will certify strength coaches in Spanish speaking countries. He hopes to start off in countries with a solid science infrastructure and branch off from there.

“You have to look for opportunities and this is just a great opportunity,” Fahey said.

Justin Jackson can be reached at [email protected] or @JustJack0176 on Twitter.

View Comments (4)
More to Discover

Comments (4)

All The Orion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • P

    Pratoom Muongmee // May 14, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Dr. FAHEY was my master thesis advisor at SJSU in the early 70’s. A kind, positive, humorous man whom I “want to be like him when I grow up”, :). After SJSU, I went on to earn my Ph D. In Exercise Physiology at Ohio State on his recommendation.
    After then I return home to Thailand, taught at Burapha University and now also retired.

    Thanks to the man for playing a part in my successful life. Always welcome Dr. Fahey to be by family guest in Thailand.

    I wish the Covid-19 is gone soon so that, for one thing, people can travel freely.

    Tom (Pratoom) Thailand
    May 15, 2021

  • J

    Jim Schmitz // Jul 27, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Tom, congratulations and good luck in your retirement and future endeavors. It was a pleasure knowing you at SF State back in the 60’s and reacquainting again at Chico State when I came up to teach USA Weightlifitng’s Level 1 Coach Course. You’ve done well and I wish you continued success.

  • R

    Rich Schroeder // Dec 22, 2018 at 8:11 am

    I first met Tom at Cal in 1969, where he was teaching a weight training class while working on his graduate degrees. When I graduated and moved to the South Bay, I took Exercise Physiology classes from at SJSU. Tom eventually moved on to De Anza Community College and developed a cutting edge fitness testing laboratory. I was his Lab Tech. Under Tom’s leadership, the lab became internationally known for our ability to test and suggest programs to Olympic athletes. In fact, during this time, many of the top discus throwers in the world trained at De Anza. Tom left for Chico in 1984 and the rest is history. Enjoy your retirement Tom. You’ve earned it.

  • P

    Pete Giachetti // Dec 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Went to school with Tom back in the crazy days T SF State. Great guy lots of fun and a hell of a thrower. He is the kind of guy that everyone love. Enjoy retirement big guy. Going to be up in the high country Scott’s Valley