Because of his dedication to earning not just one or two, but three degrees from the institution, Dennis Figures of Bryan, Texas, has been selected as the United States Sports Academy’s first Student of the Month.
Figures, who hopes to work as a sports analyst in broadcast television or teach sports management at the collegiate level, was inspired by a friend to pursue his bachelor’s degree from the Academy. When he researched the institution, Figures was moved by the stories of alumni like Mike Leach, who went on to become one of the most recognized and respected coaches in college football at Texas Tech University and now at Washington State University.
“When I saw the kind of people who had earned their degree from the Academy, and when I read their stories, I knew I had to do the same thing,” Figures said. “Once I started the application process I was amazed at how student friendly the Academy is. The Academy works so hard to do right by its students. As a student I have complete autonomy and can take my courses on my own time, at my own pace.
“Also, the Academy faculty have been phenomenal. The faculty has been instrumental and influential in my growth, development, and success as an Academy student. Everyone at the Academy has treated me like a person, and they really do care about the education of their students.”
Figures earned his Bachelor of Sports Science degree in Sports Coaching from the Academy in 2015, then finished his master’s degree program in Sports Health and Fitness in 2017. Now, he’s working toward his Doctor of Education degree in Sports Management.
“The Academy is phenomenal, and I can’t thank everyone there enough for what they have given me,” Figures said. “I am humbled, honored, and eternally grateful to be recognized as the Student of the Month.”
While studying at the Academy Figures has been heavily involved in his community in Bryan, Texas. He has served as a coach in local high schools and works as the Sports Youth Development Leader and Coach for the Boys and Girls Club of the Brazos Valley.
Figures has served the homeless in the Bryan-College Station area through the Neal Park Potlucks and Pilgrims in the Park Church for many years, and he is also a youth volunteer with Skybreak Church.
“I have had an opportunity to work with Dennis in two doctoral courses and he has been a real joy to teach,” Academy vice president of Academic Affairs Dr. Tomi Wahlström said. “He asks questions and is open to feedback, and shows an attitude of lifelong learning. He has clear and ambitious plans and he is very persistent in everything that he does. To me, he is a perfect choice for this recognition.”