Featured Alumni

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Entrepreneur Cindy Hodo Uses Academy Degree in Career in Health and Wellness Coaching

2019-05-14T13:13:21-05:00May 13th, 2019|

Entrepreneur and health coach Cindy Hodo said her master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy has been beneficial to her career along every step of the way. Hodo is the owner and founding partner of Quest Group, a boutique advertising agency and health and wellness coaching business based in Birmingham, Ala. She earned her Master of Sports Science degree in sports management in 1989 while she worked in marketing for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. “The people at the Senior Bowl encouraged me to pursue a master’s degree at the Academy and I was able to do that while still working full time,” Hodo said. “Getting my master’s degree from the Academy was hugely beneficial to my career then, and it still resonates today.” After earning her master’s [...]

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Academy Doctoral Graduate Dr. Joseph Spears Earns Promotion at Bowie State University

2019-05-13T08:30:55-05:00May 13th, 2019|

After working for six years in an assistant professor role at Bowie State University, Academy graduate Dr. Joseph Spears has been rewarded with a promotion and granted tenure. Spears, who lives in Maryland, was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor of sports management at Bowie (Md.) State University, where he also serves as NCAA faculty athletic representative. Spears earned his Doctor of Education degree in sports management from the Academy in 2011. He holds master’s degrees in higher education from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., and in divinity from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va. Spears earned a bachelor’s degree at Logos Christian College in Jacksonville, Fla. With a background in religious studies, Spears said he chose to study at the Academy to blend his [...]

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Faculty and Staff Prepare for Crawfish Relay Led by Alumnus Anthony D’Onofrio

2019-04-09T13:55:27-05:00April 9th, 2019|

Faculty and staff at the United States Sports Academy are preparing to serve as part of the 2019 Crawfish Relay organized by Academy alumnus Anthony D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio is the director of the graduate athletic administration program at Endicott College in Boston, Mass. He is also the owner and director of the Crawfish Relay, a 200-mile running and cycling relay that begins in New Orleans, La., and ends at the historic Flora-Bama at the Alabama-Florida state line on the Gulf Coast. D’Onofrio earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management in 1997. D’Onofrio has worked in athletics administration, sports management, event organization and marketing since earning his Academy degree. “The biggest thing that my Academy education did for my career was that it helped me to build my professional [...]

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Academy Degrees Opened Doors for Dr. Thomas Sather’s Career at Defense Health Agency

2019-04-09T13:51:15-05:00April 9th, 2019|

United States Sports Academy graduate Dr. Thomas Sather said his master’s and doctoral degrees from the institution opened doors to his career serving the U.S. Navy and the Defense Health Agency (DHA). Sather is the chief of policy and programs, education and training of the DHA, a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and a ready medical force to combatant commands in peace and wartime. He previously served as in several roles for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps for 19 years. He earned both his Master of Sports Science (M.S.S.) degree and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees from the Academy. “The United States Sports Academy was key to opening doors of opportunity for me,” [...]

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Drew Richards Hired to Coach Men’s Basketball at Lander University

2019-04-09T11:58:10-05:00April 9th, 2019|

After being named one of the top assistant basketball coaches in the country last year, United States Sports Academy alumnus Drew Richards has been hired as the head men’s basketball coach at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C. Richards was ranked as one of the best assistant coaches in NCAA Division II by CoachStat.net, a website that uses analytical data to compile a comprehensive ranking of men’s basketball coaches in a variety of categories, for his work as associate head coach at the University of North Carolina Pembroke (UNCP). He was hired by Lander University in March 2019. Richards earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 2013. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Missouri State University, where he was a four-year [...]

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Academy Graduate Wallace Leads Adaptive Physical Education Program at Lee Central High School

2019-03-13T10:52:26-05:00March 13th, 2019|

Lee Central High School coach and teacher George Wallace said the United States Sports Academy’s flexible scheduling and option to continue working in the sports field while learning benefited his family and career. Wallace earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 2000. He teaches adaptive physical education to students with special needs at Lee Central in Bishopville, S.C. Like many other Academy graduates, Wallace was able to work as an educator and coach while earning his degree. “I have been appreciative through the years for the Academy and the opportunity it afforded me,” Wallace said. “The opportunity to advance my education without having to alter or stop my job and family responsibilities was very important to me then and would be very important [...]

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Academy 2018 Alumnus of the Year Scott Novack Part of Successful Run for USA Rugby

2019-03-13T10:53:53-05:00March 13th, 2019|

United States Sports Academy 2018 Alumnus of the Year Scott Novack has played a major role for USA Rugby as the team he manages recently began a historic run and set its sights on Olympic qualification. Novack, a Colorado native, is the program operations manager for USA Rugby’s Men’s Eagles Sevens team, which recently recorded five consecutive podium finishes – including one championship – in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series. The U.S. is the only team to reach the medal round in all five tournaments this season. The team is in first place in the world rugby sevens standings and at the end of the season, the top four teams earn berths to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Novack is a nationally acclaimed sports administrator and high performance director. [...]

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Academy Alumnus Dr. Brandon Spradley Writing Black History Articles on Figures from Mobile, Ala.

2019-02-12T14:28:06-05:00February 12th, 2019|

In recognition of Black History Month, United States Sports Academy chair of sports management Dr. Brandon Spradley is writing a series of historical pieces dedicated to former black athletes and coaches from Mobile, Ala., for the institution’s daily sports blog, The Sport Digest.   Spradley earned his Doctor of Education degree in sports management from the Academy. In 2013, Spradley partnered with the Mobile County Training School (MCTS) Alumni Association to capture the unsung stories of key figures from that school. In continuing his dedication to that project, Spradley has written a series of articles for The Sport Digest, the Academy’s blog dedicated to contemporary issues in sport. Spradley’s articles highlight three key people who were represented in the project: Theodore Spradley III, Curtis Horton Sr., and Larry Shears. Spradley [...]

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Academy Alumna, Former Elite Basketball Player Fay Minor Earns Leadership Role at Hometown YMCA

2019-02-12T10:09:24-05:00February 12th, 2019|

United States Sports Academy alumna Fay Minor was recently hired to be the Program/Sports Director at the YMCA in her hometown of Natchez, Miss. Minor, a former collegiate and professional basketball player, earned dual Master of Sports Science degrees in sports management and sports coaching from the Academy in 2010. She chose to pursue a graduate education from the Academy because the institution encourages everyone, male or female, to pursue careers in sport. “I love sports and when I started researching schools, the Academy had me mesmerized,” Minor said. “The idea they encouraged women and believed women could succeed in sports as a coach or an administrator was awesome. I started reading about female athletes who attended the Academy and moved on to administrative positions in sports. “I was proud [...]

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Mercer University Professor Dr. Bill Holcomb Earns Academy’s 2018 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award

2019-02-12T09:37:53-05:00January 31st, 2019|

Dr. Bill Holcomb, the founding director of the professional master’s program in athletic training at Mercer University, has been named the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2018 Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award. Holcomb is a professor at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and is an Academy alumnus, having earned a Master of Sports Science degree in sports medicine from the institution in 1988. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Berry College and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Auburn University. Holcomb has been a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for more than 25 years. He is recognized as a fellow in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).  He was awarded the NSCA’s 2017 Sports [...]

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Academy Alumnus Mike Leach Coaches Washington State Football to First 11-Win Season

2019-01-08T08:26:09-05:00January 8th, 2019|

United States Sports Academy alumnus Mike Leach coached the Washington State football team to a school-best 11 wins in 2018 after the Cougars knocked off Iowa State 28-26 in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, in December. It was the second postseason win for Washington State under Leach, who has coached the Cougars (11-2) since 2012. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in American studies and earning his Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law – where he originally planned to be an attorney – Leach decided to take a different career path as a football coach.  He earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports coaching from the Academy in 1988. Leach, a native of Cody, Wyo., is the Academy Alumni [...]

Academy 2017 Alumnus of the Year Dr. Dave Shrock Earns USA Track and Field President’s Award

2019-01-08T08:24:41-05:00December 18th, 2018|

  The United States Sports Academy’s 2017 Alumnus of the Year Dr. Dave Shrock continues to earn accolades for his involvement in the world of track and field. Shrock was recently named the recipient of the USA Track and Field (USATF) President’s Award in recognition of his more than 40 years of service in track and field as an athlete, coach, and administrator. Shrock currently serves as the chair of the USATF National Association's Committee, which is the organization’s largest, in addition to numerous USATF leadership roles including past president of the Pacific Association, USATF Pacific Coaching Committee chair, Coaching Education Executive Committee, and Men’s Development Committee. Shrock earned his Doctor of Education degree in sports management from the Academy in 2009 and serves as a member of the Academy’s [...]

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