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Richard Laird
  • Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Richard Laird

I’m an Exercise Physiologist who teaches courses in Strength Development, Conditioning and Speed, Performance Optimization, and Exercise Physiology. In short, I teach about the human adaptive response to exercise and training. My research efforts seek ways to optimize performance and the adaptive process by investigating a variety of training and recovery variables. I completed my undergraduate education at JMU where the courses that I took in Anatomy, Physiology, and Kinesiology were among the first to truly ignite my academic curiosity.

I obtained both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Auburn University where I worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and researcher. It was in these roles that I was able to develop my coaching philosophy, gain “real world” experience in the application of training theory, and explore the how and why of the human response to training. In my time at Auburn, I observed that my efforts as a researcher and strength coach were force multipliers for the knowledge that I obtained in the traditional classroom. As a result, I strive to make student/faculty research and strength coaching mentorship opportunities available to all students that seek them out.


Ph.D. and M.Ed. in Kinesiology (emphasis: Exercise Physiology), Auburn University
B.S. in Kinesiology, James Madison University

Research Interests

  • Performance optimization

  • Training

  • Recovery

  • Strength training

Recent Courses

  • ENC 2110: Leadership and Personal Growth

  • KIN 3226: Strength Development

  • KIN 3321: Performance Optimization

Selected Publications

  • Brock, K.A., Eberman, L.E., Laird, R.H., Elmer, D.J., Games, K.E. Sequential pulse compression’s effect on blood flow in the lower extremity. Journal of Sports Rehabilitation (in press, 2018).

  • Laird, R.H., Elmer D.J., Barberio M.D., Salom, L.P., Lee, K.A., Pascoe, D.D. Evaluation of performance improvements following either resistance training or sprint interval based concurrent training. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Volume 30, number 11, November 2016, pp. 3057-3065 (9).

  • Elmer D.J., Laird, R.H., Barberio M.D., Pascoe, D.D. Inflammatory, lipid, and body composition responses to interval training or moderate aerobic training. European Journal of Applied Physiology 116.3 (2016): 601-609.

  • Barberio, M.D., Elmer, D.J., Laird, R.H., Lee, K.A., Gladden, B., Pascoe, D.D. Systemic LPS and Inflammatory Response during Consecutive Days of Exercise in Heat. International Journal of Sports Medicine 36.03 (2015): 262-270.

  • Pascoe, D.D., Barberio, M.D., Elmer, D.J., Laird, R. H. Potential Errors in Mean Skin Temperature Calculation Due to Thermister Placement as Determined by Infrared Thermography. Thermography International, 22, 2012.

Clubs and community involvement

  • Co-Director of Dorsey Scholars Program Faculty Advisor for McDaniel Strength and Conditioning Club

  • Strength and Conditioning Coach for Women's Soccer and Men's Lacrosse

Awards and Honors

  • Boehlke Fellow, 2019
Richard Laird