UHV kinesiology program receives national recognition

University of Houston-Victoria students interested in careers as strength and conditioning coaches can now tap into a national network of professionals and be eligible for industry certifications.

Raymond Tucker

UHV’s kinesiology program recently was recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Education Recognition Program. The university is one of just five in Texas accredited for strength and conditioning.

“The NSCA is the gold standard in strength and training,” said Raymond Tucker, a UHV assistant professor of kinesiology. “An NSCA certification is the top one for those students interested in training and coaching on the collegiate level.”

Based in Colorado Springs, the NSCA is the governing body of strength, conditioning and human performance. It provides a network of professional support for students as they embark on their careers in the strength and conditioning industry.

Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development, said the recognition will bring more students to the undergraduate program.

Fred Litton

“Not many schools can claim this recognition,” he said. “This is terrific news, especially considering our kinesiology program is less than a year old. We already have laid the groundwork to provide students with meaningful instruction that can lead to careers in the industry.”

UHV began its Bachelor of Science in kinesiology in the fall for students interested in teaching kindergarten through 12th-grade physical education and those preparing for careers as trainers or strength coaches.

Litton said to achieve the accreditation, UHV faculty had to write a self-study document and conduct an examination of the kinesiology courses. Those tasks were conducted by Tucker and Amy Barnhill, coordinator of UHV’s teacher education program.

“Dr. Tucker and Dr. Barnhill deserve the credit for achieving this national accreditation,” Litton said. “Their work solidifies us as a destination for human movement and performance study.”

Amy Barnhill

The NSCA recognition is valid through the end of 2018. As a recognized school, UHV students receive a $25 discount on exam registration for the tests to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist or a NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer. Students also receive discounts to NSCA conferences.

Tucker said UHV plans to add a new strength and conditioning course that will get students ready for the exam, which will be scheduled on campus.

In addition, UHV will receive a certificate and three free job postings on the NSCA careers website. The university also will be mentioned in the NSCA Bulletin, a membership newsletter distributed to 33,000 members.

Strength and conditioning will be among the topics at a March 5 sports performance clinic UHV is hosting for students, athletes, coaches and community members.

It starts at 9 a.m. in the Kay and Ron Walker Auditorium inside UHV University North, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Registration is $25 and includes lunch. To register for the clinic, visit

The clinic will be led by sports and conditioning coaches Ed Cosner and Dana LeDuc. Cosner was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the San Antonio Spurs while LeDuc was the strength and conditioning coach for the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams.

“For coaches, athletes and anyone interested in sports performance, it should be interesting to compare and contrast how these two talented strength coaches approached their jobs,” Tucker said. “The clinic will be a good way to learn, network and share ideas.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro