UTPA's director of athletics co-edits textbook
Posted: 08/21/2012
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Since becoming The University of Texas-Pan American's director of athletics three years ago, Chris King has guided UTPA's 14 sports programs to produce high-performing student-athletes.

UTPA Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris King co-edited and co-wrote a chapter in the textbook "The Handbook of College Athletics and Recreation Administration," which touches on a variety of topics within collegiate athletics and recreation management, including fitness, diversity, ethics and professionalism, and legal issues.

He started the Athletic Director's honor roll, on which 178 student-athletes made the list earning at least a 3.0 grade point average for the 2011-2012 school year. The average grade point average of student-athletes also rose higher than that of the general student population.

Under his watch the athletics program's revenues increased by 265 percent. He also was instrumental in the University's recertification as a Division I school by the NCAA.

King's achievements at UTPA, as well as at other Division I institutions as an administrator, have garnered him more prestige: co-editor and chapter writer of a textbook on college athletics.

"I never thought of writing or co-editing a book, because when you think of writers, you always think of those who have a bachelor's, master's or doctorate in English," said King, who earned his bachelor's in sports management from Robert Morris University in 1994 and his master's in education leadership from Campbell University in 1997. "It was quite exciting working with the other two editors and going through this project in its entirety. I now have a new appreciation for writers and editors."

The book, "The Handbook of College Athletics and Recreation Administration," touches on a variety of topics within collegiate athletics and recreation management, including fitness, diversity, ethics and professionalism, and legal issues. San Francisco-based company Jossey-Bass published the book.

King co-edited the book with Dr. George S. McClellan, vice chancellor for student affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, and Dr. Donald L. Rockey, Jr., associate professor in the recreation and sports management program at Coastal Carolina University. King worked with McClellan at the University of Alabama and it was McClellan who invited him to work on the textbook.

"It's a very interesting concept where we took the view from the university administration side, the professor's research side and my side as a practitioner," King said.

In addition to lending his eyes to reviewing the book, King penned the chapter, titled "Professional Development and Advancement," with his mentor, Dr. David Synowka, director and professor of sports management at Robert Morris University, where King earned his undergraduate degree.

"If you read the preface, it talks about a young administrator and you have the person who is your mentor, which is about him and I," he said.

King said he wanted to add a more personal approach to his editing experience with this textbook.

"I wish there was more of the practitioner side, the people actually doing the work to go with the research, data and theory," he said. "That is what this textbook does. It actually has people who are in the business now, working with those who teach that side of it. The handbook provides this to the student."

The textbook is intended to serve as a comprehensive resource for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and professionals in intercollegiate athletics and college recreation programs. It will be used in programs such as sports management, recreation management and kinesiology throughout the country.

Each chapter includes a list of key points that can serve as a study guide or executive summary and to provide opportunities to apply the information about professional foundations and skills to actual practice.

"It's quite a unique concept for a textbook," King said.

For more information, contact King at (956) 665-2221 or visit