The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports announces the premier and theatrical release of The Commissioner of Power, a feature-length documentary about the life and work of Terry Todd, Ph.D. Todd was the founder (with his wife, Jan) of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center in the College of Education and taught in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education for 35 years specializing in research related to strength and sport history. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of strength training and strength coaching. The Commissioner of Power premieres on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 as one of the marquee features of the Austin Film Festival. After making its premiere at The Austin Film Festival, The Commissioner of Power will be released on-line and a link will be provided on our webpage and on Rogue’s various on-line platforms. The trailer can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUFVXQryS6g.
Tickets to the premiere may be purchased at: https://tickets.austintheatre.org/7352/7366
A native Austinite, Todd originally attended The University of Texas on a tennis scholarship, but discovered a passion for weight training that led him to leave the tennis court for the weight room. He won the Junior Nationals in weightlifting in 1963. He then turned to powerlifting and won the first two national championships in 1964 and in 1965 as a superheavyweight. While Todd was building his own muscle, strength development also became his academic pursuit. He completed a doctorate in the College of Education at The University of Texas in 1966 and began to expand his career to coaching, teaching, TV work, and writing.
Internationally acclaimed for his authority in the history and practice of strength training, Todd quickly became one of the most familiar figures in the Iron Game community. Todd was the author of six books and more than 500 articles in scholarly and popular publications such as Sports Illustrated, The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Reader’s Digest, Texas Monthly and Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture the academic journal published by The Stark Center. He was also a journalist and television commentator for ESPN, CBS, CBC, NBC, PBS, BBC, and TV Globo. In 2002, Todd was tapped by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Lorimer to create and direct the Arnold Strongman Classic at The Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus Ohio. He did so until his death in 2018.
The Commissioner of Power was directed by Todd Sansom and produced by Rogue Fitness as part of their ongoing Rogue Legends Series, which tells the stories of the men and women who shaped strength history. For more information and to view other films in Rogue’s Legends Series, visit https://www.youtube.com/user/RogueFitness. Rogue Fitness is also a donor to the Stark Center at UT Austin.
In the film, Todd is cast as a pioneer and a visionary. His wife and fellow strength icon Jan Todd (also a faculty member in Kinesiology and Health Education) is also featured. Powerlifting greats Larry Pacifico and Bill Kazmaier, NBA star Lance Blanks, and Olympic weightlifter and Strongman champion Mark Henry also appear along with World’s Strongest Men winners, Hafthor Bjornsson and Brian Shaw and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In 1983, with his wife, Jan, Terry Todd founded the Todd-McLean Physical Culture Collection at the University of Texas; it has since grown to become the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports after the Todd’s raised more than ten million dollars to build and operate The Stark Center’s library, research center, archive, and gallery spaces. The Stark Center is located on the fifth floor of the North End Zone at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Football Stadium. It is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. The Stark Center is part of the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education.