Newly appointed director of Recreational Sports at Texas A&M University to focus on student success and campus collaboration.
Rick Hall, Texas A&M University’s newly appointed director of the Department of Recreational Sports, is looking forward to expanding the development of students and staff, and broadening campus outreach for years to come. He takes the Rec Sports helm from Dennis Corrington, who retired on Aug. 31 after 45 years of service.
Originally from Virginia, Hall has had a burning passion for health and wellness his entire life; earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health and physical education from Virginia Tech. Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Hall worked as the head director of intramurals and student activities at Bluefield State College in West Virginia. Once he discovered the opportunity to work in a department with abundant resources and well-respected professional staff, the decision to make the move to Aggieland was clear. Hall was eager to immerse himself into the campus culture of Texas A&M. Arriving in 1979, he began his service to the department as the assistant director of intramurals. “Texas A&M had tremendous resources then and even so now,” said Hall, explaining his initial draw to the university. “The opportunities to build and grow are abundant within the department.”
“Texas A&M had tremendous human and financial resources that give us the opportunity to build and grow the Department of Recreational Sports so we can better contribute to student success.”
Grounded and Well-Rounded
Throughout his nearly 40 years of service to the Department of Recreational Sports, Hall has worked in or closely with each program. “You get here, and you fall in love with the place,” reflected Hall. He spent five years as assistant director of intramural sports before moving into the facilities sector. From there he was promoted to associate director of facilities, and later was named senior associate director of the Department of Recreational Sports.
Hall attributes his readiness for this new endeavor largely to starting at the “ground floor, making my way around and up.” Working with different sectors of the department, Hall sharpened his skills by gaining experience in managing people, facilities, and the business and budgeting sectors. One key learning experience for Hall was his involvement in the development and construction of the Student Recreation Center, which began in the late 1980s and continued through its opening to the Texas A&M community in 1995. During this pivotal time on campus, Hall became the project manager who was responsible for ensuring completion of the newly expanded Rec Center. Throughout this challenging experience Hall learned more about the inner workings of the facility, its departments, and the people who work in and use them.
Rick Hall, director of Recreational Sports
In preparation for the official transition into his new role, Hall and the department have evaluated the mission and vision for the future. First and foremost, his priority is to continue to provide quality services, facilities and accessibility to the Texas A&M campus community. The department is also gearing up for construction of two satellite recreational facilities, which will provide increased convenience, accessibility, student opportunity, and will inherently encourage the department’s focus on promoting wellness campus wide.
“We’re fortunate to have the resources and support from the administration and students to do this,” Hall said. “I’m excited to oversee the management of these projects, and to ensure these facilities are completed with utmost quality and excellence that has embodied the Student Recreation Center since its formation.”
Expanding student and staff development will continue to be a key aspect of the department’s mission. “We hire more than 1,000 students in a year,” he said. “This is so much more than a job and a paycheck.” As the largest student employer on Texas A&M’s campus, students are exposed to training, career opportunities, critical thinking, and an environment that empowers its employees. Hall will focus additional time and resources on student development to expand their opportunities for success.
“To accomplish this, we will focus on increased campus outreach to the diverse groups that make up the Aggie family,” he said. “Partnering with other departments within the Division of Student Affairs, such as Student Counseling Services or the Student Health Center, will also be vital to enacting and promoting the importance of wellness and development campus wide for students and faculty alike.”
“Partnering with other departments within the Division of Student Affairs, such as Student Counseling Services or the Student Health Center, will also be vital to enacting and promoting the importance of wellness and development campus wide for students and faculty alike.”
Looking Forward, Reaching Outward
Alongside his colleagues and student staff, Hall intends to enhance collaborating with other campus departments. “As I look into the future, I know there will be challenges along the way as the program continues to root itself as an essential component of campus life,” he said, “but I’m confident in our talented staff and I count on those professionals to lead.”
As director of the department, Hall’s position summary includes maintaining the mission, vision, and managing the overall direction of the department. This includes continuing to provide quality services and programs to all members and guests. In addition, the department is placing an emphasis on assessment and evaluation of its own contribution to student success. Hall asks: “Are we really contributing to student success like we say we are?” The department aims to use its intentional outreach and evaluation tactics to prove its effectiveness beyond what the data shows.
“We want to be the best Recreational Sports program in the country for the best student body in the country,” he said. “That’s my goal.”
Story by Mereyah Cage
Communications Student Assistant
Texas A&M Rec Sports
Photos by Audrey Bratton and Jim Lyle