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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Say Howdy to Jeff Huskey, the new Rec Sports executive director

The+Rec+Center+on+Wednesday%2C+March+9%2C+2023.
Photo by Madeline Tesch

The Rec Center on Wednesday, March 9, 2023.

Jeff Huskey was named the new executive director for the Department of Recreational Sports, or Rec Sports, with a background in recreational facilities and programs. 

With 28 years of experience in leading recreation management and programs, Huskey has an extensive background maintaining student employment and facility arrangements. Previously, Huskey was the director of recreation at University of California-Santa Barbara. Huskey also worked at Colorado State University, Stephen F. Austin University, Texas State University, University of Tennessee and James Madison University, where he gained experience leading recreational programs. 

For the past two months, Huskey said he has been analyzing the program to gain an understanding of the Rec Sports facility. 

“I truly believe in the saying ‘Seek first to understand,’” Huskey said. “My number one job is to understand all of the new [programs] of our really large department, the ins and outs of how everything works.” 

Huskey comes with a wealth of experience and background all over the U.S. and is now back in Texas. Staff members are looking forward to working with him, Associate Director of Programming at the Rec Center Jason Kurten said. 

“He has a really robust resume and a really robust work history in our field,” Kurten said. 

Assistant Director of Student Affairs Finance Arranna Bennett, who has worked in the Rec Sports department for about 26 years, said Huskey brings in a fresh perspective to help lead the Rec Center onto an excellent path.  

“In many different locations, he has already made communication his number one [priority], not only internally with the staff, but also communicating with the student body,” Bennett said. 

Huskey said he plans to build on the successes of the past. 

“We have done some really great things,” Huskey said. “I also bring a lot of experience and have seen other things from other universities. [I hope to] build on the things we have done great in the past and maybe bring a few new ideas as well.”

The overall goal is to serve as many A&M students as possible, Huskey said. 

“Right now we have about a little over 70 percent of A&M students utilize our facilities,” Huskey said. “We would like to get that number up.”

There are always challenges, but the Rec Center has plans to maintain and keep up with change to allow an increased number of students to use the facilities, Kurten said.

“We have to find ways to get [students] to participate and get them opportunities to participate and play whether that’s intramurals, fitness classes, aquatics or our sports club area,” Kurten said. 

Prior to joining A&M, Huskey worked for UCSB, which he said had a similar recreation program. 

“The recreation part was about the same size,” Huskey said. “We had a really large robust rec program. I was there for seven years, and that’s where I am coming from, but I have worked all over the country.” 

Huskey has extensive experience building up new or existing programs. Huskey was the first recreation director at Stephen F. Austin. There, he started a Rec Sports program and built its first Rec Center, he said. 

One of the great things about having new staff on board is that they have the opportunity to analyze things and evaluate a new process or system in a beneficial way, Bennett said. 

“I think that’s the best thing to be done and a lot of positive things will come out of it,” Bennett said.

A&M has a long history as the Department of Recreational Sports has been around for a very long time, Huskey said. 

“I am honored to be a part of that legacy,” Huskey said. 

The Rec Center is all about staying consistent with the students to hear their concerns and follow up occasionally, Kurten said. 

“We meet with [frequent visitors] on a local basis [to ask] how we are doing and what could we do better,” Kurten said. “We have small groups that have reached out to students periodically to ask how are we doing.” 

Huskey is excited to be an Aggie, especially after he noticed the Rec Sports team has a lot of great staff members to work alongside, Huskey said. 

“[I am] really proud of the things we do here,” Huskey said. “I am looking forward to seeing how we can continue to serve Aggies in other additional ways, better ways moving forward.”

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