Record enrollments, undergraduate students on campus, and the buzz of intercollegiate athletics made the first day of the fall semester exciting on the campus of the United States Sports Academy (USSA).

Known around the world as America’s Sports University, USSA more than doubled its enrollment year over year from fall 2022 to fall 2023. The increase makes USSA effectively the fastest growing university in the state of Alabama. The boost in enrollments came on the heels of the introduction of new president Dr. Steve Condon in January 2023. Condon made enrollment his top priority, and the results are evident.

USSA dean of sport business Dr. Brandon Spradley is a veteran teacher on the USSA campus and is a former collegiate athlete himself, having been part of the track and field team at the University of Alabama as an undergraduate student. In addition to his online teaching responsibilities, Spradley is teaching USSA’s undergraduate level Contemporary Issues in Sport course to first-time freshman students on campus.

“I’m so excited to have students on campus,” Spradley said. “We’ve been doing online teaching for quite some time, and we’ve done that very well. But I love the hands-on, practical application teaching we can do in person, on campus. The class I’m teaching gets into so many of the current issues that are going on in sport, so it is a good start for these students. I’m excited to help them grow their skillset, increase their knowledge, and help them figure out what they want to do in the sport profession.”

USSA students on the first day of class in the fall 2023 semester.

“So far it has gone well,” Spradley said. “Our students are talking and participating, so that’s a positive sign early on. I told my students that I’m going to get them out of their comfort zone. There was a time when I was young and very shy. I didn’t like to speak up in class. So I want to help these kids break out of that comfort zone and get them thinking about the bigger issues in sport.”

In addition to increased enrollment, USSA also introduced intercollegiate athletics this fall. The university’s men’s soccer team kicks off its inaugural season on Thursday, September 7, at 7:30 p.m. with a home match against Union 10 at the Al Trione Sports Complex in Daphne. The team plays under the leadership of longtime collegiate and professional coach Peter Fuller.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be the first head coach for soccer at the United States Sports Academy,” Fuller said. “We are excited to welcome in our first class of players for this fall, and we are looking forward to what the future holds for this school and sports program. It is a wonderful project and one that I am incredibly pleased. I am proud to be involved.”

In addition to men’s soccer, USSA is currently recruiting coaches for baseball, softball, track and field, volleyball, and women’s soccer to launch in 2024.