Nyles R. Humphrey, Ph.D.

1947 – 2013
Nyles R. Humphrey, Ph.D.


“He didn’t live forever. But he truly lived.”

Dr. Nyles Ray Humphrey passed away Nov. 13, 2013, in Washington, UT. He will be missed by family, friends and neighbors who enjoyed his quick wit and sense of humor. He was grateful for all those who displayed their genuine care for his well-being.

He was born in Salina, UT, on Aug. 24, 1947, the oldest of five children born to Nyles L. and Camille B. Humphrey. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As a young man, one of his favorite things was to accompany his grandparents to the Manti Temple to help with the filing of paperwork at the recommend desk. In the fall, he enjoyed going with his grandpa to bring the cattle down from the mountains.

Nyles graduated from Malta High School in Malta, MT, and went on to attend Montana State University on athletic scholarships. He held high school and college sports records in the high jump and pole vault.

Nyles received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Montana State University. Dr. Humphrey received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1973.

Both his master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation involved methods to extract the best performance possible from athletes. His master’s thesis entitled, “An Electromyographical Analysis of Sprint Starting from Variable Width Blocks,” led to a more universal use of starting blocks for track and field sprinters. His doctoral work entitled, “Cardiovascular and Respiratory Adaptations Occurring During Second Wind,” was published as groundbreaking information in Time magazine.

Nyles was recognized by Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges. He was invited to coach the Austrian Olympic Track and Field Team. He qualified for the Junior Olympics out of high school. He was honored as Coach of the Year at Western Montana multiple times.

Professor Humphrey was a teacher and coach at Montana State University, in Bozeman, until he was named Athletic Director at Western Montana College in Dillon. In addition to his Athletic Director responsibilities during his tenure at Western Montana, he was also a teacher and coach. Dr. Humphrey retired in 1994, after 25 years of service in the Montana State Higher Education System.

He enjoyed athletics and participated in sports throughout his life. He was active in Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout at age 13. He was a talented fisherman, enjoyed hunting, loved dogs and breeding Great Danes, usually ending up with a dozen puppies at a time. While in high school, he participated in FFA raising sheep and as an adult he raised cattle.

Nyles Ray is survived by: his mother, Camille Humphrey, of Washington, UT; his children, Kymberly Humphrey, of Belgrade, Just (Jamie) Humphrey, of Billings, and Anne (Bret) Litle, of Billings; and three grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, two brothers, three nieces and five nephews. Nyles Ray was preceded in death by his father, Nyles L. Humphrey, and one grandchild.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, at the Salina Eastside Cemetery in Salina, UT.