The University of Mount Union (previously Mount Union College) started the Sport Business (previously Sport Management) program in 1987. Former athletic director and football coach, Ken Wable, was the first Director of Sport Business.
Upon Mr. Wable’s retirement in 1989, Dr. James Thoma was hired as the Director of Sport Business. Upon his arrival at Mount Union, Dean Conrad Staninski told Thoma that Sport Business was a major but really was not more than a minor. As a result, Thoma started the first year by adding Sport Marketing. Subsequently additional courses were added, including International Sport Administration and Management. The number of majors grew. In 2000 Mount Union was NASPE-NASSM accredited.
In 1997, Dr. Jim Kadlecek came to Mount Union as a full time Sport Business professor. Quickly Dr. Kadlecek made his mark by creating a reputation as a sports sales trainer. Highlights of Dr. Kadlecek’s sport business contributions include creating the Mount Union Sports Sales Workshop, taking the Mount Union students to the National Sports Forum and his yearly fall field trips to New York City to visit sport teams and agencies.
With continual growth of the Sport Business program, Dr. Lori Braa started at Mount Union in 2011. At that time, Dr. Thoma had been half time as Associate Dean of the University so Dr. Braa took the introductory Sport Business classes as well as Sport Finance. Having worked for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and having significant collegiate athletic administrative experience, Dr. Braa developed and taught the first Intercollegiate Athletic Administration course in 2013.
As needed, the Sport Business program has hired adjunct faculty periodically: Legal Issues in Sports, Arenas and Facilities in Sport and Recreation, Sport Club Management.
Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, Mount Union went from normal 3 semester credit hour courses to 4 semester credit hour courses. This required a repackaging and reexamination of the Sport Business curriculum. Having just completed the first year of the new curriculum, an assessment of the curriculum is ongoing.