Hall of Famers

Keith Kleven

D. Keith Kleven was born in Salt Lake City to parents of Norwegian ancestry, and is one of four children.  His father was a lumber salesman/carpenter and his mother was an executive secretary in her later years.

Interested in athletics since childhood, Keith attended Brigham Young University on a wrestling scholarship, completing his pre-med program in three years.  He was then admitted to optometry school at the University of Southern California, but changed his major to physical therapy and completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.  He worked as a graduate teaching assistant during his masters program and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. 

Following graduation, he was one of eight students selected for a special one-year internship offered through the University of Southern California Medical School Research & Training Center.  This program emphasized teaching, research and advanced clinical skills.  Keith did research, completing a second Masters thesis project and spent a year between Orthopedic Hospital, L.A. County Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center and Rancho Los Amigo Rehabilitation Institute.  After completion of this program, Keith worked as a staff therapist at Burbank Medical Plaza.

At age 27, Keith was appointed as an assistant professor and program director for the then new physical therapy program at Eastern Washington State University.  He served in a supervisory capacity over the athletic/sports medicine department, maintained a private practice at the Medical Center/Student Health Center in Cheney, Washington, and also taught full-time.  He was a consultant for three years at Medical Lake Hospital and taught numerous courses, as well as developed a curriculum for the new school.

Keith resigned from the university in the fall of 1973 and entered into private practice with an associate at Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada.  In 1983 they moved into a private clinic, and in 1993 Keith formed his own practice, currently located on Jones Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road.  He has initiated several programs in the Las Vegas community and taught evening courses at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for 18 years.

In addition to being a physical therapist, Keith is also a certified athletic trainer.  His education and background has led him to working with world-class athletes, dancers and performers, both at the local and national level.  He was trainer/therapist for the United State Gymnastics, junior and senior national teams, 1984 Olympic Games, World Championships junior and senior, and United States Boxing team, taking him to four different continents in the world.  He was also Larry Holmes’ therapist/trainer for 8 years and continues to work with athletes such as Mike Tyson, Greg Maddux and Tiger Woods. However, one of Keith’s greatest joys is working with the UNLV golf team for the past 15+ years.

Kleven passed away on May 30, 2019.

The Kleven File

Born: May 05, 1943
Claim to Fame: Throughout his career, Kleven has had an opportunity to work with athletes such as Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Greg Maddux and Tiger Woods.
Family: Wife, Mary; Three children (David, Mark and Anne)