The United States Sports Academy is mourning the loss of Dr. Lawrence Bestmann (far right), a longtime faculty member and friend of the institution, who passed away on 21 January, 2021.

Bestmann was a member of the Academy’s first project in the island nation of Bahrain in 1977, where he served as national gymnastics coach and national strength and conditioning coach. He later returned to Bahrain as project director from 1984-87. In addition, Bestmann served the Academy’s international assignments as project director in Indonesia and Malaysia. In 2001, he returned again to Bahrain to serve as a visiting professor at the University of Bahrain for the winter semester.

In addition to his international work for the Academy, Bestmann also served as director of recruitment and training, director of international programs, director of communications, chair of sports studies and director of mentorships. Dr. Bestmann also served on the dissertation committees of many of the Academy’s doctoral students, both as a chair and as committee member.

Academy President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich said Bestmann played a major role in the development of the Academy’s reputation as a global leader in sport education.

“I think it is safe to say that Dr. Bestmann’s contributions to the Academy and to the world of sport were numerous and significant,” Rosandich said. “One of his biggest contributions was in the 1980s when he worked with a large contingent of Korean doctoral students. Nearly every dean of sport and/or physical education program from numerous colleges and universities at the time went through our doctoral program. In fact, it would be no stretch to say that the Academy was instrumental in developing sports management in Korea, largely because of his work. Dr. Bestmann worked with everyone and he was meticulous at his work.”