Stephen ButlerDr. Stephen Butler

Dean of Academic Affairs
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Dr. Stephen Butler is the Dean of Academic Affairs at the United States Sports Academy. He holds a doctoral degree in Administration of Curriculum and Instruction from Auburn University; a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Chapman University; and a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Florida Atlantic University. He has over 25 years of experience in higher education where he has developed curriculum, taught at both the graduate and undergraduate level, and served as an administrator.

Butler served nearly 24 years in the United States Air Force as a B-52 navigator and military educator. His final Air Force assignment was as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, the world’s largest foreign language school. He has played and coached team sports at all levels since the age of six. He is also an avid runner who has competed in 30 marathons, including Boston twice. He served on the Board of Directors of the Big Sur International Marathon for 16 years.

Vince NixDr. Vincent Nix

Dean of Student Services
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Dr. Vincent Nix has worked in organizational and global human resource development for nearly 30 years across the advanced manufacturing and postsecondary education sectors. Before becoming the Dean of Student Services at the United States Sports Academy, Nix served as a work-based learning consultant for the State of Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry and as interim president of Dawson Community College in Glendive, Mont., where he earlier served as assistant vice president for instruction and student services.

Nix worked three years at Idaho State University and served as a visiting assistant professor for the Organizational Learning & Performance program. He previously spent six years in China managing a start-up language school, consulting for a Swiss-Chinese joint-venture and serving as visiting assistant professor of international business. He spent two years as lead graduate researcher on a grant geared at higher education reform in Thailand. Prior to that he served as interim assistant registrar and interim assistant dean of students at Washington State University.

Nix earlier worked in human resources management and development with Oxford Wire & Cable, a Hitachi joint venture in Oxford, Miss. A Mississippi native, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Mississippi. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership and Ph.D. in higher education administration from Washington State University.

Fred CromartieDr. Fred Cromartie

Director of Doctoral Studies
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Dr. Fred Cromartie is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the Academy. Cromartie is also an Academy alumnus, having earned his Doctor of Education and Master of Sports Science degrees here. Cromartie also holds a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree from Ripon College.

At the Academy, Cromartie has held various leadership positions including: Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Chair of Sports Studies, Chair of Sports Medicine, Chair of Health and Fitness Management, Chair of Sports Coaching, Executive Director of Alumni Relations and a member of the Alumni Associations Board of Directors, Director of Student Services, Director of Continuing Education, Distance Learning Faculty Member, Admissions Counselor and Graduate Assistant.

Cromartie was recognized for his service to the Academy by being selected as The Distinguished Alumnus of the Year 2002.

Brandon SpradleyDr. Brandon Spradley

Director of Sports Management
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Dr. Brandon Spradley earned his doctoral degree from the Academy in sports management and currently serves as the Director of Sports Management. Spradley previously served as the Director of Continuing Education working on international programs and special projects. He has been to Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates on international assignments helping to teach and develop sport education programs across the world.

Spradley’s dissertation focused on concussion awareness and education and he has been diligent about educating athletes and coaches about sport-related concussions. He has been involved in developing and facilitating concussion awareness programs in Mobile and Baldwin County and serves as a concussion educator for the Academy. Spradley played an integral role in helping the University of South Alabama educate more than 700 high school football players in Mobile County through the help of an NCAA grant.

Spradley was a track and field sprinter at the University of Alabama, where he completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees. He was a four-time NCAA regional qualifier and a two-time NCAA national qualifier in track and field running on nationally ranked relay teams in 2009 and 2010.

Sandra GeringerDr. Sandra Geringer

Director of Sports Studies
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Dr. Sandra Geringer has an extensive background in both education and sports. She is Director of Sports Studies at the United States Sports Academy, where she earned her Doctor of Education degree in sports management.

Previously, Geringer served as Study Abroad Coordinator at Cuyahoga Community College in Highland Hills, Ohio, where she assisted students with opportunities to study abroad. At the same institution, she served as program assistant at the Global Issues Research Center.

She earlier served as an office manager for Project HOPE-Virginia in Williamsburg, Va., which is Virginia’s program for the education of homeless children and youth.

Geringer also has served as the assistant director of special events for the Athletic Department at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg,Va., and recreational coordinator at the Chagrin Valley Recreation Department in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Geringer has extensive experience as a tennis professional and has coached women’s and men’s tennis teams at the high school and collegiate levels. She was the interim head men’s and women’s varsity tennis coach at Cleveland State University in Ohio. She has held the position of tennis professional in the resort, private club, and recreational settings for over 15 years.

Geringer has taught numerous courses abroad for the Academy, including the International Diploma in Physical Education and Sport Coaching in Malaysia and the Sport Authority of Thailand Certification in Sports Management program.

She was a member of the women’s varsity tennis team and earned a bachelor’s degree in education with a major in sports management from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, in 1997, and a master’s degree in education with a focus on higher education administration from the College of William and Mary in 2011.

Rodney BlackmanDr. Rodney J. Blackman

Chair of Recreation Management
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Dr. Rodney Blackman is in his second year as a member of the Resident Faculty at the United States Sports Academy and Chair of Recreation Management program. Prior to the Academy, he has worked in a range of professional settings, including academia, where he has taught at the university level since 1997.

Blackman also has work experience in non-academic, public, and private sector positions. Collectively, Blackman’s education and professional experience have been primarily in the areas of leadership, management, marketing, programming, operations management, and administration – all in the context of sports, recreation, tourism, and leisure services delivery systems. In addition, his foremost area of expertise is in the legal aspects of sports, recreation, and leisure services.

Blackman has lived and worked in a number of different environments, including internationally, in Japan, Germany, and Russia. Also on the international scene, Blackman has spent several summers in Ireland, where he has led study abroad troupes and conducted research and development with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Blackman earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from The Master’s College in Los Angeles, Calif., and his Master’s Degree in Leisure Services Program Management from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In addition, Dr. Blackman has the equivalent of a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington – and, he earned his Doctorate in Recreation from Indiana University, in Bloomington, Ind.

Vincent RamseyDr. Vincent K. Ramsey

Chair of Sports Exercise Science
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Dr. Vincent K. Ramsey is Chair of Sports Exercise Science at the United States Sports Academy. Prior to his employment to the Academy, Dr. Ramsey spent 10 years as a Lecturer at the University of North Georgia for the Department of Health and Physical Education and Recreation. He was also the CEO and LMT at Dynamic Therapeutics in Gainesville, Georgia where he provided medical massage, trigger point and myofascial release, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation as well as Swedish and cranio-sacral therapy.

Dr. Ramsey received his PhD in Physical Education & Sport Studies/Biomechanics from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia in 2002 and received his Master of Science in Exercise Science/Biomechanics in 1998 and his Bachelor of Science in Physics/Mathematics in 1996, both from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Throughout his career and education, Dr. Ramsey has completed many funded research projects. The most recent of them was in 2013, the Veterans to Veterans Home Winterization Project. This project was funded by Home Depot Foundation and through collaboration with the Northwest Georgia Homeless Veterans Shelter in Winder, Georgia, the group was able to enhance the living conditions of approximately 30 homeless veterans.

Bret SimmermacherDr. Bret Simmermacher

Chair of Sports Coaching
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Dr. Simmermacher is currently the Chair of Sports Coaching at the Academy and recently re-located from New Mexico where he was a teacher/coach at Artesia High school in Artesia, New Mexico. He taught in the special education department as an inclusion teacher in the History department. He was an assistant varsity baseball coach and did the off-season conditioning for all male athletes. He spent six years at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM as an Instructor/Head Baseball Coach. He originally came to the Mobile, AL area in 1981 on a baseball scholarship to the University of South Alabama and played for the legendary Eddie Stanky.

Upon Coach Stanky’s retirement in 1983, he transferred to the University of West Florida, where he graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health, leisure, and sports/physical education in 1986. He received his Doctor of Sport Management degree from the United States Sports Academy in 2003. Dr. Simmermacher taught and coached golf, girls’ basketball and baseball for 15 years in Crestline, Ohio. During his time in Ohio he taught and coached a variety of sports at three different schools. From 2000-2005 he was the head golf coach, head girl’s basketball coach, and the head baseball coach for Crestline High School.

From 1995-1997, Dr. Simmermacher coached baseball at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio in a part-time capacity. His 1995 team made the school’s first trip to the NCAA Division II College World Series.

Sara WeberSara J. Weber

Doctoral Teaching Assistant
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Ms. Sara Weber joins the Academy as a doctoral teaching assistant with over 20 years of experience working in sports communications. She most recently served as an editor at CBS Sports/Interactive in New York, NY. Weber also has several years of college sports information experience, working in the athletic departments at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, and the University of Tampa. Weber, from Massapequa, NY, received her master’s degree from Hofstra, where she earned a degree in Communications. She received her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Pennsylvania State University.

Jason WilliamsJason J. Williams

Doctoral Teaching Assistant
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Jason J. Williams is a doctoral teaching assistant at the United States Sports Academy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Idaho and dual master’s degrees in business administration and sports business management from the University of Central Florida. He is also certified by Precision Nutrition, Functional Movement Systems and the National Strength & Conditioning Association and is also certified as a performance specialist by EXOS. Williams is also the owner of Williams Sports and Fitness in Foley, Ala. and has been an academic advisor at Columbia Southern University and a realtor with Meyer Real Estate in Orange Beach, Ala. Williams has also worked as an account executive for the New Orleans Hornets basketball team.

Wanyi TangWanyi Tang

Doctoral Teaching Assistant
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Wanyi Tang is a doctoral teaching assistant at the United States Sports Academy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Beijing Language and Culture University, where she also participated in the university’s exchange study program at Kristianland University in Sweden, and a master’s degree in translation and interpreting (Chinese-English) from the University of Westminster. Prior to joining the Academy, Tang was a teaching assistant and lecturer at the School of Foreign Languages at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, where she taught undergraduate courses on intensive reading, listening and speaking and cross-cultural communication. She was previously a liaison officer for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of China.