The Exercise and Sport Studies (ESS) program equips students with the academic knowledge and practical experience needed to develop a scientific understanding of exercise and sports. Students will be prepared to excel in teaching/coaching or health-related professions. Our program also emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how it should be an integral part of the overall educational experience.
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Meet Our Faculty & Staff
David Norman, Department Chair, Assistant Professor of ESS, Athletics Director
Loren Dawson, Instructor in ESS, Head Football Coach
Michelle Filander, Instructor in ESS, Senior Women’s Administrator, Women’s Basketball Coach
Robert Filander, Instructor in ESS, Swimming & Diving Coach
Teresa Hall, Adjunct Instructor in Exercise and Sport Studies
Mark Hudson, Instructor in ESS, Men’s Soccer Coach
Branden Hunt, Instructor in ESS, Assistant Football Coach
Joe Morgan, Instructor in ESS, Assistant Football Coach
Michael Silva, Instructor in ESS, Assistant Football Coach
Kelly Sylvester, Instructor in ESS, Women's Softball Coach
Rodney Wecker, Instructor in ESS, Assistant Athletic Director, Men’s Basketball Coach
Meet Our Alumni
Justin “Buck” Buchanan ’97 never faced a Hendrix College football team when he played for the ’Roos. Hendrix did not have a football program—and would not until 2013 when the former Austin College lineman wore the whistle as the first head coach in 53 years. “I knew I fit in here at Hendrix, and I… [Read More]
Heather Woods Sanders ’91 carries her coaching persona into the classroom. “I coach both volleyball and calculus to win,” she said. “I want my kids to succeed on the AP Calculus exam so we take an ‘US vs. THEM’ approach to the AP test.” Heather coaches volleyball and teaches calculus at Canyon High School in… [Read More]
Mike Sorrells ’65 earned a business degree and expected to go to work using it. Although he had played football at Austin College and had minored in physical education, coaching was not the original plan. But, plans change. “I’ve known people who have said they wanted to be a coach for as long as they… [Read More]
Ransom Okpala ’14 remembers being on the B team. “I come from a very big family and I’m the oldest of seven,” Ransom said. “When you’re in a big family, everyone wants to find their niche. You want to be different and find something you’re good at.” “In seventh grade I was on the A… [Read More]
Lexi Beeson ’14, now assistant director of strength and conditioning at University of Texas at San Antonio, was preparing for her Austin College graduation and had a job offer on the table. “I was offered a position as a business analyst with a fairly prominent company and realized that the idea of sitting at a… [Read More]
Jeremy Swisher graduated Austin College in 2017, majoring in Biochemical Neuroscience and minoring in Exercise and Sport Science. As an ESS minor, Jeremy crafted an Honors Thesis in the discipline. He is now achieving his MD at Texas A&M HSC College of Medicine.
I graduated from Austin College in January of 2014 with a major in Psychology and minor in Exercise and Sport Science. Upon graduation, I went on to complete an internship for the Kansas City Chiefs in their one-of-a-kind educational center known as the Sports Lab. This center aligns with the NFL’s Play 60 initiative to… [Read More]
Intercollegiate Varsity Athletics
Successful participation in a varsity athletic team sport will fulfill the physical fitness requirement for students. Austin College offers varsity sports in men and women’s soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, basketball, as well as volleyball, football, baseball, and softball. Explore our ‘Roo Sports!
Basic physical skills development are offered in a variety of selected sports activities. Sample activities include aerobic conditioning, aerobic dance, golf, racquet sports, swimming, and strength training. See the Austin College Bulletin to learn more.