News Archives: Exercise and Sport Science

HPU’s Athletic Training Education Program receives accreditation

2C_CAATE_Seal_Accr Progam_VFBROWNWOOD – April 20, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Athletic Training Education Program was recently notified of its successful accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).

As a result of this achievement, students in the program may now sit for the Athletic Training Board of Certification examination to become certified athletic trainers through the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA). Prior to CAATE accreditation, Howard Payne University students could only meet the requirements for Texas State Licensure. Almost all other states in the U.S. and many countries require NATA certification to practice as an athletic trainer.

According to NATA, athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

“It has been a long process to develop the degree and obtain CAATE accreditation,” said Mike Terrill, director of HPU’s Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP) and assistant professor of athletic training.

Terrill, previously HPU’s head athletic trainer, transitioned to his faculty role in the fall of 2011 to create ATEP and begin the accreditation-seeking process.

“The university could not have obtained this goal without help and support from the HPU family of administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni,” he said. “We’re very excited to offer our students this opportunity to become industry-standard certified athletic trainers.”

To learn more about becoming a student in Howard Payne University’s Athletic Training Education Program, contact the Office of Admission at or by phone at (325) 649-8020 or (800) 880-4478. More information about the program may also be found at

Newest HPU master’s degree aims to improve lives through sports and wellness leadership

Hatcher and student for webBROWNWOOD – January 15, 2015 – Howard Payne University will soon offer a Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program to prepare those who are entering into or wish to advance in the sport and/or wellness industries.

Classes will begin in August for the fall 2015 semester and those interested are encouraged to attend one of two informational sessions to be held February 5 and February 19 at 6 p.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum. Complimentary light refreshments will be served and those who attend will receive free admission to the Yellow Jacket basketball games that follow. The Lady Jackets will tip off at 5:30 p.m. each evening.

The SWELL program is an affordable option for those looking to impact lives through careers that emphasize the importance of health.

“Not only is SWELL the most affordable master’s degree in Texas for professionals entering or employed in the sport and wellness industries, we’ve also designed it to be one of the most accessible,” said Dr. Graham Hatcher, chair of HPU’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) and ESS professor.

The program is designed for both full-time and part-time students with most classes scheduled in the evenings to accommodate work schedules. Limited campus housing and board plans are available for those who may wish to live on campus. In addition, competitive graduate assistantships will be available to help offset the cost of tuition.

While many graduate programs across the country focus solely on either the sport industry or wellness industry, SWELL adapts the core knowledge and skill sets of each into a comprehensive program. Consequently, SWELL graduates may find greater career flexibility and opportunity for service.

“We’ve created a holistic program that includes instruction in a variety of topics that revolve around impacting the quality of life for American citizens,” said Dr. Hatcher. “As with all HPU academic programs, the SWELL courses will be enriched by the university’s faith tradition.”

Courses include instruction on legal and ethical aspects of sport/wellness, marketing and public relations, event planning, resource management and more. Students will enter the SWELL program in cohort groups, beginning fall 2015. The program consists of 10 courses and 30 graduate hours, and can be completed in 20 months.

For more information about the SWELL program, visit or e-mail


Photo cutline: Dr. Graham Hatcher, right, chair of HPU’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science (ESS) and ESS professor, serves as director of HPU’s new Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) degree program.

HPU’s Dr. Rick Beelby inducted into WBU’s Athletic Hall of Honor

Rick Beelby WBU for webBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2014 – Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, was recently inducted into Wayland Baptist University’s Athletic Hall of Honor. Dr. Beelby coached track and field at WBU from 1988 to 2001.

A news release issued by WBU quoted Dr. Beelby as saying the development of character is the most essential element for participating in athletics.

“I like what athletics can do for young men and women,” he said. “It gives them a purpose and a direction and an opportunity to set goals and achieve those goals if they use discipline and honest effort. I was probably attracted to that aspect of (coaching) as much as anything.”

The news release listed Dr. Beelby’s accomplishments at WBU, including training 30 women and six men National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national champions, guiding the men’s and women’s track and field teams to NAIA indoor national championships and three times being named the NAIA National Coach of the Year.

Dr. Graham Hatcher, department chair and professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, said HPU also celebrates Dr. Beelby’s recognition by WBU.

“Since coming to HPU, Dr. Beelby has provided exemplary leadership across campus and in developing an instructional program that is noted statewide,” said Dr. Hatcher. “But most important is his Christian commitment and inspirational mentorship to hundreds of students.”


Photo cutline: Dr. Rick Beelby, associate professor of exercise and sport science at Howard Payne University, was recently inducted into Wayland Baptist University’s Athletic Hall of Honor. He is pictured on the HPU campus.

2014 graduate Hannah Hicks recognized by the American Kinesiology Association

Hannah Hicks ESS for webHannah Hicks was recently named as the ESS department’s first Undergraduate Scholar to be recognized by the American Kinesiology Association.  Hicks (Flower Mound, TX) received her Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science, with a personal trainer emphasis, during spring commencement exercises on May 10.

HPU’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science recognizes four

ESS.StudentAwards2013-14Four graduating seniors claimed the department’s top awards during the university’s Academic Awards Convocation on April 30, 2014. Amber Jones (Houston, TX) was named the Outstanding Graduate in the Athletic Training major, Hannah Hicks (Flower Mound, TX) and Mallory Orms (Springtown, TX) were named Outstanding Graduates in the Exercise and Sport Science major, and Rachel Moore (Sierra Blanco, TX) was recognized for maintaining the Highest GPA among 2013-14 seniors.

(L > R: Jones, Hicks, Moore, and Orms)