Men’s Hockey Team member Kimball Johnson participates in VO2 max testing, exercising for Health and Exercise Science students in the Anderson Athletic Recreation and Complex on August 31, 2021.

In the News: Sports Science Institute at St. Thomas Improves Athletic Performance and Provides Hands-on Educational Experiences

University of St. Thomas men's hockey coach Rico Blasi and health and exercise science professor Paul Mellick recently spoke with Dean Spiros at the Pioneer Press about how the new Sports Science Institute is improving athletic performance while also creating unique educational experiences for undergraduate students.

From the story:

The collaboration between the athletic department and the College of Health is being billed as one of the few programs in the country – if not the only program – that offers undergraduate students the opportunity to work with Division I athletes in monitoring and analyzing athletic performance.

“Big Ten and Big 12 schools have gigantic sports science institutes that are run by third parties,” said Paul Mellick, chair of the university’s Health and Exercise Science Department, who leads the program. “In my research I have yet to find a school that offers undergraduates the chance to work with Division I students.”

The program, which has been under consideration for a number of years, got jumpstarted last year when new men’s hockey coach Rico Blasi arrived with the desire to continue his prior experience of relying on sports science to aid his program. Since then, women’s basketball, cross-country, swimming and diving, and women’s soccer have joined the collaboration.