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NEWS

Aug. 22, 2003

Professional Staff To Improve RSU Wellness Center, Fitness Programs

The Rogers State University Wellness Center not only has undergone physical improvements to enhance its services to students, but has added the leadership of professional staff to operate the facility.

Chris Whittington, who formerly organized the wellness program for the Tulsa Fire Department, will serve as the Wellness Center coordinator. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility, which serves as the university's fitness and health promotion center. Ron Bradley, a former Claremore High School head baseball coach, will serve as physical education coordinator. He will be coordinating the university's club sports and teaching physical fitness activities classes.

Both the physical renovations to the Bushyhead Fieldhouse and the reorganization of Wellness Center staff will allow the university to better meet the health and fitness needs of RSU students, faculty and staff, said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

Whittington, a 1991 Claremore High School graduate, previously worked for the City of Tulsa for more than four years developing the wellness program for the fire department. He received a master's degree in exercise science from the University of Arkansas, a bachelor's degree in health and human performance from Northeastern (Okla.) State University and is certified as an advanced physical fitness specialist from the Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research. He also is a nationally registered EMT-Basic.

Bradley will be coordinating the university's rugby and baseball clubs with RSU students competing against other teams representing communities, organizations, and other university club teams.

Bradley's Claremore baseball teams twice won state titles in 1993 and 1999, and he also guided high school baseball teams to state titles at Jenks in 1997 and West Fork, Ark., in 1982. He coached Claremore's state runner-up baseball team in 2000. His teams won 11 regional championships and he has a career win-loss record of 483-196. In addition to baseball, Bradley has coached football, basketball and softball. He received a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., and has earned graduate credit from the University of Arkansas and Northeastern State University in physical education and administration.

The Wellness Center, located in the Bushyhead Fieldhouse on RSU's Claremore campus, reopened on Aug. 15 after being closed during the summer for repairs and remodeling. The Wellness Center features free weights, weight training machines, cardiovascular equipment and a full-size basketball court. Additional cardiovascular equipment such as elliptical trainers and a new treadmill have been ordered. The on-site locker rooms and aerobic room currently are closed for renovation, but they should be available later this year.

The Wellness Center's operating hours during the academic year are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Wellness Center, call (918) 343-7894.