THEY TALK ABOUT ELECTROCARDIOGRAM OXYGEN ANALYZERS and branched
chain amino acids and sports psychology. They talk about sports communication,
sports business, sports law, sports budgets. You can still major in physical
education at Manchester College, but it’s all different now, and that’s a good thing,
The field of health and athletics is changing dramatically, sprinting in many
different directions, encompassing science, business, communications, law and
recreation. The program is called Exercise and Sport Sciences (ESS) nowadays at
Manchester College, with a curriculum that is head-spinning. Graduates of the
program are well-prepared for graduate school, and careers as athletic trainers,
coaches, fitness trainers – and yes, health and P.E. teachers.
Manchester College offers six majors with specified concentrations – more variety
than any other liberal arts or Division III athletics college in Indiana, said Mark
Huntington ’76, professor and chair of the Exercise and Sport Sciences Department
and director of the athletic training program. Three of the majors are for K-12 educators, including P.E. for students with disabilities.
MC students also can get degrees in athletic training,
exercise science and sport management. (And students
across campus can combine a minor in coaching,
athletic training or physical education with a non-ESS
Manchester offers the only undergraduate program in
adapted physical education in Indiana.
With 186 majors, 15 full-time and 13 part-time faculty
members, 55 theory courses with 63 sections, and 31
activity courses with 56 sections, the ESS Department
has its hands full with one of the largest and most
integrated groups on campus.
“There is not as much demand for the physical
educator in schools as there once was,” said
Huntington. “We are changing with society: The
increased participation in physical activity is increasing
the need for medical assistants in that area, hence our
athletic training program. Paradoxically, increased
levels of health problems are linked to lack of exercise.
And there is the business of sport. What has happened
in the department mirrors what has happened in
A new sport management major comes available to
incoming students next fall, as well as an opportunity
for current sport management majors (nearly onefourth
of ESS majors) to switch to the new major. The
major currently is fitness and sport management, which
is scientifically grounded, but requires students to take
a couple business and accounting courses and a
Creation of the new major was led by Ryan
Hedstrom ’00, assistant professor of exercise and sport sciences and a former student of Huntington’s.
Hedstrom, who is in his first year of teaching for
Manchester, helped restructure the undergraduate
sport management program at Castleton State College
“My thinking was, if we are going to have a program,
it better prepare students for what they are going to
do or we might as well not have it,” said Hedstrom.
“The needs of sport facilities, sport businesses and
athletic teams have changed. They need people who
are focused on the business of sports rather than
people who know about the human body and have
also taken an accounting class, per se.
“If you think of college athletic directors: Would you
rather they know about the human body or know how
to balance a budget? Would you rather they know
about exercise physiology or about public relations?”
Students will be given the opportunity to choose
between a sport communication track or sport
business track in the sport management major, and
integrate the fitness part of the old major into the
exercise science major. They also will have the
opportunity to take new courses in event and facility
management, ethics and psycho-social aspects of
sport, sport leadership and governance, sport business,
legal aspects of sport and physical education and sport
Internships are an integral part of the Manchester
College sport management program. The College is
perfectly located for myriad internship opportunities.
Only an hour away in Fort Wayne are professional
teams in baseball (Tincaps), hockey (Komets),
basketball (Mad Ants), arena football (Freedom),
soccer (Fever), and women’s football (Flash). Indeed,
Fort Wayne recently was voted “Best Place in the Country for Minor League Sports” by Street &
Smith’s Sports Business Journal.
MC’s athletic training majors score NFL internships
with the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay
Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers. And, they get
jobs with the pros, as well as with schools and other organizations. Three graduates are athletic trainers
for minor league affiliates of professional baseball
teams: Mike Salazar ’98 is with the Cleveland Indians, John Patton ’01 is with the Houston Astros and Dru
Scott ’07 just accepted a position with the Pittsburgh
The College has won national and state recognition
for its adapted physical education major, which
teaches the art and science of developing and
implementing a carefully designed physical education
program for students with disabilities. The program
dovetails with the College’s commitment to preparing
teachers of ability and conviction who respect the
infinite worth of every individual.
Consider Melanie DeGrandchamp ’09, who is
carrying a double major of adapted physical
education and K-12 health and physical education.
She is the 2008 Undergraduate Physical Education
Student of the Year of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
(AAHPER). DeGrandchamp, who graduates with
honors this spring, is preparing for a career teaching
students with disabilities.
“The level, content and high expectations in
Manchester ESS courses are definitely superior,” said
DeGrandchamp. “The professors are experienced,
knowledgeable and creative in teaching us not just our
subject areas, but lifelong skills, applications in other
areas, realistic knowledge from outside the textbooks
and are excellent in encouraging us to fulfill our
dreams and succeed!
“A few internships, observations, coaching
opportunities – and now student teaching – have all
prepared me for my career.”
Manchester College graduates are teaching physical
education, coaching and directing programs at K-12
schools, universities, Ys and organizations across the
state and the nation. Others have used that solid
liberal arts education to find their place in
business and industry. Michele Atkins ’06, for
example, is a health fitness specialist with DePuy
Orthopaedics Inc. in Warsaw, Ind.
An important part of the adapted physical education
major is service-learning. ESS majors, for example, lead Special Olympics Manchester, providing sports training
and athletic competition in a variety of sports adapted for
children and youth with intellectual disabilities.
The Sports, Health, and Physical Education (SHAPE) club,
the MC student professional organization for ESS majors,
helps with the Jump Rope for Heart program at Manchester
Elementary School, fundraising for the new Wabash YMCA
and the cancer research fundraiser Relay for Life.
Manchester’s ESS faculty and students also appear frequently
as presenters at professional regional and national
conferences. Associate Professor Kim Duchane has served as
president of the 1,000-member state AAHPER. The wellpublished
scholar in adapted physical education is frequently
called upon to present at national, regional and state
Manchester grads also are coaching, getting their roots as
players and assistant student coaches for Spartan teams.
Some, like Head Golf Coach Jeff Kock ’95 and Assistant
Baseball Coach Dan Sprunger ’06, have returned to MC to
coach. Others are at high schools and colleges … or coaching
community recreation leagues. And some are coaching in the
pros, like Mike DeBord ’78, offensive line coordinator for
the Seattle Seahawks.
Each Homecoming, the M Association honors a Manchester
College graduate as The Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year.
The coach selected demonstrates competitive excellence while
mirroring the values of Claude Wolfe ’41, who coached
Manchester College teams for 25 years.
BY NATE HODGES ’10
It’s the mantra of Spartan
student-athletes: “School comes first”
The Spartan track record speaks for itself. Of the 260 students on the Fall 2008
Dean’s List, 68 are student-athletes who have the necessary 3.5 GPA or higher. And
yes, track teams led the race.
The Spartan achievement has everything to do with the philosophy of Division III
athletics, says Karla Conrad ’11, volleyball and softball player, and a solid member
of the Dean’s List with a 3.8 GPA.
“I wanted to play with people who weren’t only playing a
sport because it paid for their college education. I wanted
to be a part of an organization that was dedicated to
sports because of their heart, not because of their money.
“At a Division III school, there is also support from coaches
off the court that I find very helpful when dealing with the
stress of being a student-athlete,” Conrad says. “They
make sure studies are the top priority and want you to get
the best education possible.”
For cross country and track coach Brian Cashdollar, it all
comes down to the athlete’s mindset, particularly with
runners: the dedicated approach runners take to their
training with seemingly endless mileage and training, and
obsession with times, heights, lengths and distances.
Spartan cross country and track teams crank out high team GPAs year after year.
The cross country teams consistently post 3.0 or higher and the 2007 women’s
cross country team was recognized by U.S. Track and Field as an All-Academic
Team for its academic achievement.
Last year, 27 Spartan athletes earned Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
All-Academic honors, with GPAs of 3.5 or higher.
As the name implies, student-athletes are expected to be students first. In fact,
student-athletes are expected to do well academically or they can’t compete. They
must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and carry at least 12 credit hours. Most coaches
require their players (especially first-year students) to spend four to six hours a
week at study tables and to attend workshops in time management, note-taking,
study skills and test-taking.
BY NATE HODGES ’10