United States Sports Academy doctoral program alumnus Dr. John Lesaine has made his mark in the classroom and on the basketball court and is now being recognized for helping others in his home state of South Carolina.

Lesaine was named as one of the Top 20 Under 40 by the South Carolina Black Pages, a business directory and reference guide. The honor is given each year to 20 men and women under age 40 who have achieved personal and professional success, have a record of community service and have given back to others through their time, talents, and donations.

Lesaine is the assistant dean for student success and persistence at Newberry College in Newberry, S.C. He earned his Doctor of Education degree in Sports Management from the Academy in 2015.

“I am definitely honored and humbled to receive this distinction,” said Lesaine. “To be recognized alongside so many movers and shakers across the state is something that I will cherish forever, and I am grateful to God for the opportunity.”

Lesaine also serves as an associate professor of sport professions at Newberry. A native of Manning, S.C., he also earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Newberry and has taught in the school’s Department of Sport Professions since August 2012. Before entering the classroom, he coached women’s basketball on the college level for eight years, including two stints at Newberry as a student assistant (2004-2007) and as a full-time assistant (2009-2012). As a college coach, he has been part of two South Atlantic Conference tournament championship teams (2006 and 2007) and coached in six consecutive NCAA Division II national tournaments.

Lesaine is also the campus site coordinator for Call Me MISTER, a program designed to remedy the shortage of male elementary school teachers from diverse backgrounds. He also serves as a public address announcer for Newberry College athletics, and as a basketball referee for colleges, high schools and semiprofessional teams.

Lesaine has received several campus awards during his tenure as a professor. He has twice been selected as NCSGA Professor of the Year (2015, 2016). He has also received the Dr. and Mrs. William S. Boyd Professorship for Excellence in Teaching (2016), the L. Grady Cooper Award for loyalty and dedication to Newberry College (2016), an Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Society for Leadership and Success (2016), and Campus Pastor’s Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service (2014).

“My greatest hope is to inspire our students to continue to do great things so that they, too, will one day achieve their aspirations and realize their full potential,” Lesaine said.

Lesaine also holds a graduate degree in educational leadership from Valdosta State University, in sport psychology from Capella University.