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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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End of an era

Over+his+45+years+of+service%2C+Dennis+Corrington+has+seen+the+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Rec+Sports+budget+grow+from+%2450%2C000+to+%2416.5+million.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Over his 45 years of service, Dennis Corrington has seen the Texas A&M Rec Sports budget grow from $50,000 to $16.5 million.

Over 1.2 million Aggies use the Texas A&M Rec Center per year to exercise, attend workout classes, play in intramural leagues and climb the rock wall. Much of this is thanks to the work of one man — Dennis Corrington.
Corrington has been working with the university since 1973 and is set to retire at the end of August after 45 years of service. Senior associate director Rick Hall will assume the position on Sept. 1.
“When I started in 1973 we had an intramural program that was very bleak, and we added over 200 sports clubs to our portfolio and it took off from there,” Corrington said.
Since the sports clubs have been added, A&M has won 288 national championships, including 27 in 2018.
“Probably one of the things that I’ll cherish most are the most important things — the staff, seeing the staff thrive with what we’ve created together as a family,” Corrington said.
In 1973, Corrington and his staff of four full-time employees worked out of the Charles DeWare Field House, northwest of Kyle Field, which was replaced in 1997 by the Zone Club. During that time, the A&M budget for Rec Sports was $50,000. It has since grown to $16.5 million in 2018, according to Corrington.
Tom Reber, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs began working with Corrington in 1982.
“When I agreed to help out with that position, I thought it would be temporary,” Reber said. “I assumed I would fill in where I was needed and then go back. I never thought I would leave recreational sports. So when they offered me this position, I could not say no. He has been my supervisor since for the last 22 years.”
Today, the department has 37 full-time employees and employs over 1,000 student workers as the largest student employer on campus. The facilities range from the massive 400,000 square-foot recreation center, a world-class natatorium, outdoor rock climbing wall, basketball/volleyball courts and a dance studio. The department also manages the Penberthy Rec Sports Complex, which was built in 1975 and consists over 15 soccer and football fields, two softball fields and the Omar Smith Tennis Center across campus.
Mark Haven, director of the aquatics center at the Rec helps oversee the outdoor adventures program and said Corrington has shown his staff how a true leader works.
“Dennis serves as the patriarch who has set the example of how to lead while empowering us,” Haven said. “His vision of quality facilities and healthy lifestyles for Texas A&M students has driven the standard across the nation. He keeps us on the forefront of innovation by expecting us to be the experts, and trusting us to make his vision a reality.”
Since 1973, Corrington has performed tasks ranging from overseeing intramural sports to maintaining Rec Sports facilities and managing the budget. He has passed the torch off to his staff to help take over his mission of providing best services to the students as possible.
“I’ve always wanted to provide an excellent work place and to ensure that the staff love what they are doing,” Corrington said. “I enjoy watching the evolution of this profession, and I am proud to have been a part of it. My success is a team success. We built this together, and I could not have done it on my own.”
Throughout his retirement, Corrington will still be around A&M as he looks to focus on family, play a lot of golf and still workout in the facilities he helped design.

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