Dr. Stephen Butler
Dr. Stephen Butler is the Dean of Academic Affairs at the Academy. Previously, he served as an administrator, faculty member, and curriculum developer in higher education at several institutions. Butler serves on the Board of Directors of the Big Sur International Marathon.
Dr. Fred Cromartie
Dr. Fred Cromartie earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from the Academy and was named the school’s 2002 Alumnus of the Year. He is the Academy’s director of doctoral studies and has held several management positions during his 20 years there.
Dr. Brandon Spradley
Dr. Brandon Spradley earned his doctoral degree from the Academy in Sports Management, while focusing his dissertation on concussion awareness and education. He serves as the Program Director of Sports Management and the Executive Director of the Academy’s Alumni Association. Dr. Spradley previously served as the Director of Continuing Education working on international programs and special projects. Dr. Spradley was a track and field sprinter at the University of Alabama, where he completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees.
Dr. Rodney J. Blackman
Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy. Blackman has worked in a range of professional settings, including academia, where he has taught at the university level since 1997, earning multiple teaching excellence awards. He has been active in scholarly research, in addition to his involvement in numerous service and outreach programs. Blackman also has work experience in non-academic, public, and private sector positions.
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. 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, Russia, and Ireland. He has spent three recent summers in Ireland, where he has led study abroad troupes and conducted research and development with the Gaelic Athletic Association.
Blackman earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in theology from The Master’s College in Los Angeles, Calif., and his Master of Arts degree in leisure services program management from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Blackman has a Master of Legal Studies degree equivalent from Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Ind. He also earned his Doctorate of Recreation degree from Indiana University.
Dr. Vincent K. Ramsey
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.
Dr. Bret Simmermacher
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 J. Weber
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.
Mr. Ben Billman joins the Academy as a doctoral teaching assistant with over 10 years of athletic coaching and teaching experience. Billman most recently served as the Assistant Athletic Director at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, OH. He also serves as an instructor at the University teaching a sports-related course. He served as an assistant basketball coach at the school from 2007-10.
Billman, from Circleville, OH, received his master’s degree in Sport Management from Liberty University in 2013 and his bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from Taylor University in 2007. He was a four-year letterwinner on Taylor’s tennis team.
Sandra K. Geringer has an extensive background in both education and sports. She is Acting Director of Sports Studies at the United States Sports Academy, where she is pursuing her Doctor of Education in Sports Management.
Before beginning her doctoral program, 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 previously 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 United States Sports Academy, including the Academy’s 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.