Meet Joel (Joe) Baba the Assyrian bodybuilder! Joe was born and raised in the Logan section of Philadelphia where he attended Northeast High School. During his time at Northeast, he began gymnastics and weightlifting, while also taking part in boxing and wrestling. He set a Philadelphia Public School record of 448 points in gymnastics when he captured the eyes of recruiters as a senior. He earned a full gymnastics scholarship to Syracuse University in 1948. After graduating with his Bachelors of Science in 1951, he went to Temple University and coached gymnastics there for 2 years.
Joe began his teaching career with the School District of Philadelphia in 1956. In 1957, he was employed with the Neshaminy School District where he taught physical and health education. He coached the boy’s gymnastics team from 1957 to 1975 and again from 1986 to 1988 ultimately leading the teams to the Pennsylvania State Invitational Championships with a 212-46 record. He also led the teams to 11 League Championships and 1 State Title, the PIAA Championships, in 1986. In addition to coaching gymnastics, he also began coaching boys’ varsity volleyball from 1988 to 1991 and was an administrator from 1975 to 1985.
One of Joe’s most outstanding accomplishments includes being featured on the cover of Strength and Health Magazine in 1953. Other accomplishments include winning the Eastern Intercollegiate All-Around and Parallel Bar Championships, the Great Lakes All-Around Championship, The Niagra A.A.U championship, the National Turner Free Callisthenic championship, and the Middle Atlantic All-Around and Tumbling championship.
Joe’s physical dimensions are as follows: height 5’4”, weight 132 pounds, neck 14 3/8”, arm 14 5/8”, chest 41”, waist 28 ¼”, thigh 20 ¼”, and calf 13 ¾”. His best weightlifting efforts are 180 pound press, 150 pound snatch, 240 pound clean and jerk, and 120 pound curl.
Written by: Nino Aishou
Joel Baba (1927-2008) – find a grave memorial. Find a Grave. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/32376822/joel-baba
Joel Baba Nation’s Outstanding Athlete. (1953, December). Assyrian Star, 2(12), 2–2.