Dr. Jeffrey Messer
Why We Do What We Do: Lactate Threshold, VO2, Running Economy
Dr. Jeffrey I. Messer serves as faculty in exercise physiology for the Exercise Science Department at Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona.
Dr. Messer holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. His doctoral research program emphasized exercise biochemistry with a specific research focus in skeletal muscle mitochondrial bioenergetics. In addition, he has earned a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in exercise science from Arizona State University, a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in economics from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.
Dr. Messer has taught and continues to teach a variety of courses including Introduction to Exercise Science, Introduction to Exercise Physiology, Introduction to Evidence-Based Inquiry, Introduction to Research Methods in Health and Exercise Science, Sport Nutrition for Fitness Professionals, Strength & Conditioning, and Methods of Enhancing Physical Performance. His ongoing teaching pursuits have been complemented by the September 2010 opening of the Mesa Community College Human Performance Laboratory. Dr. Messer serves as director of the laboratory with a corresponding mandate to complement and thus enhance the foundational teaching / learning mission of the college by supervising both the diverse laboratory assessment experiences and applied training experiences that optimally prepare students to engage as vibrant, capable, evidence-based professionals.
Dr. Messer has published research in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, The American Journal of Physiology and The Journal of Applied Physiology. Most recently, Dr. Messer and co-authors published a 2016 paper entitled “A Simple Hydraulic Analog Model of Oxidative Phosphorylation.”
He has offered research presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Region of the American College of Sports Medicine (SWACSM), the Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the Annual Meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
Corresponding professional memberships include The American Physiological Society (APS), The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), USA Track-&-Field (USATF), the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and the United States Track-&-Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Dr. Messer applies his passion for teaching and scholarly inquiry through his strong involvement in coaching both interscholastic endurance athletes and, periodically, pre-secondary and post-collegiate endurance athletes.
From 2006 – 2012, Dr. Messer served as co-head coach for cross-country and assistant coach (distance) for track-&-field at Xavier College Preparatory, Phoenix, Arizona. The Xavier College Preparatory cross-country program earned six consecutive (2007 – 2012) Arizona high school girls’ state cross-country championships. During the three-year period from 2010 – 2012, the Xavier College Preparatory cross-country program concluded the associated cross-country seasons ranked 22nd, 8th, and 21st in the United States. During the 2012 Arizona high school track-&-field season, Xavier College Preparatory had twelve (12) student-athletes average 5:13 for the 1,600-meter distance.
In February 2013, Dr. Messer began to serve as head coach for girls’ cross-country and assistant coach (girls’ distance) for track-&-field at Desert Vista High School, Phoenix, Arizona. The Desert Vista High School girls’ cross-country program earned the 2013, 2014, and 2016 Arizona high school girls’ state cross-country championship. In late-May 2014, the Desert Vista High School girls’ distance program was ranked by MileSplit US as one of only two girls’ high school track-&-field programs in the United States with “top ten” groups in each of the 800-m, 1,600-m, and 3,200-m events. In December 2014, the Desert Vista High School girls’ cross-country program finished fifth (5th) at the Nike National High School Cross-Country Championship and thus concluded the 2014 high school cross-country season as the fifth (5th) ranked high school cross-country team in the United States. More recently, the Desert Vista High School girls’ cross-country program finished sixth (6th) at the 2016 Nike National High School Cross-Country Championship.
Subsequent to the 2016 high school cross-country season, Dr. Messer retired from his head coaching endeavors in order to expand his community college leadership pursuits.
More recently, Dr. Messer returned and transitioned to the Desert Vista boys’ distance program as an assistant coach for the 2017 cross-country season. The Desert Vista High School boys’ cross-country program earned its first opportunity to compete at and ultimately finished eighth (8th) at the 2017 Nike National High School Cross-Country Championship. During the 2018 and 2019 Arizona high school cross-country seasons, Dr. Messer served as an assistant coach for the Desert Vista High School girls’ and boys’ cross-country programs. The Desert Vista High School boys’ cross-country program earned the 2018 Arizona high school boys’ state cross-country championship, and the Desert Vista High School girls’ cross-country program earned the 2019 Arizona high school girls’ state cross-country championship.
Additionally, Dr. Messer has served as the coach for former professional runner Jessica Tonn. Miss Tonn finished as national runner-up at the October 2019 USA Track-&-Field 5-K Championships. Miss Tonn complemented the aforementioned, 2019 national runner-up achievement by achieving 2020 lifetime personal best performances at both the 3,000-meter (8-minutes:54-seconds) and 5,000-meter (15-minutes:12-seconds) distances.
Dr. Messer has been recognized by the United States Track-&-Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association as the 2016 National Girls’ High School Cross-Country Coach-of-the-Year.