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Sports Studies, Recreation and Athletics


At Whitman we believe that the life of the mind and intellectual learning require a balance of fitness and wellness programs. Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics at Whitman intend to complement your total educational experience, nurturing healthy qualities such as self-discipline, leadership, confidence, and collaboration. Whatever your athletic goal – from a dream of the Olympics, to completing a marathon, to someday coaching a Little League team – Whitman’s Sport Studies, Recreation and Athletics Department offers the facilities, programming, instruction, and competitive opportunities you will need to succeed.

Whitman College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III, and the Northwest Conference. Our intercollegiate athletic programs are consistent with the principles of fair play and amateur athletics as defined by the NCAA. We fully support the academic success, health, and overall well-being of student athletes, and we provide equal access to athletic opportunities for men and women. Men participate at the varsity level in baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, swimming, and tennis. Varsity teams in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball are available for women. Approximately 17 percent of the Whitman student body participates in at least one varsity sport.

Additionally, our staff of coaches, trainers, and physical education professionals will provide you with academic and professional preparation for leadership and teaching in physical education, athletic training, and recreation. Whitman students interested in sports medicine and athletic training learn in the classroom, with such courses as Beginning Athletic Training, and work with the college’s certified athletic trainer.

Student interns gain practical experience by working directly with Whitman’s varsity athletic program.

Courses in sport studies, recreation and athletics are divided into two categories: theory-based and activity-based. The theory-based courses, designed for students who wish to study the theory and methods of physical education and recreation, include First Aid, Lifeguard Training, Theory of Coaching, Sports Psychology and outdoor and recreational leadership. The activity-based courses include a diverse mix of physical education, recreation, individual fitness and team sport activities including weight training, racquetball, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, and many others.

The College has outstanding athletic facilities. Baker Ferguson Fitness Center includes a 10,000 sq. ft. fitness center and the Louise and Paul Harvey pool, a 30-yard competitive swimming pool. Sherwood Center is home to a 1500-seat gymnasium, racquet ball and squash courts, an aerobic/dance room, athletic training room, and saunas. The renovation of Sherwood, completed August 2009, adds to the facility a full size practice/intramural gym with batting cages for baseball and golf, two multipurpose exercise rooms and two class rooms. In addition, the indoor climbing wall with 7000 square feet of climbing space is one of the top collegiate climbing facilities in the nation. Ankeny Field, at the center of campus, hosts club rugby and lacrosse competitions, intramural football, ultimate Frisbee, and softball. Adjacent to Ankeny Field are four outdoor tennis courts, and on the west end of campus, the Bratton Tennis Center offers four top-quality indoor tennis courts.

Baseball games take place at the 3,000-seat Borleske Stadium, a short walk from campus. The Borleske Athletic Complex also includes Martin Track. The golf team practices at Memorial Golf Course, adjacent to Borleske Stadium. The new Athletic Fields Complex is home to the varsity soccer teams as well as multiple practice fields.

In addition to our offerings in sports, Whitman encourages students, faculty, and staff to add recreational and fitness activities to their daily schedules. Personal growth, health, and self-reliance are vital, and we advise entering students to take especially good care of themselves. We like to encourage our students to develop positive habits such as jogging, cycling, dancing, swimming, martial arts, yoga and meditation.

Are Whitman athletes exceptional students who go on to do great things?

Wendy Wilford ‘98, women’s volleyball and track, is now a chemical engineer for BP Amoco in Alaska after graduating from Stanford.

Take a look at the top career scorers in the history of Whitman men’s basketball. Number one is Don Woodworth ‘68, a partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm specializing in natural resource law. Number two, Chris Faidly graduated in 2009. Number 3, Dan Rough ‘98, was featured in Sports Illustrated when he hit 60 consecutive free throws. Number four is Keith Orchard ‘91, one of nearly two dozen Whitman graduates currently in the Peace Corps. Number five, Dave Mastin ‘87, served six terms in the Washington State House of Representatives. And Number 6 is Bruce Bennett ‘69 who works in research and development for Boeing in Seattle.

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