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ESU Offers Online Bachelor’s in Sport Leadership and Recreation

Americans, regardless of their age, spend a significant amount of time involved in sport and recreational activities. This has led to a trillion-dollar industry. As this industry continues to grow, there is a need to develop effective leaders who can meet the demands of competitive and evolving markets.

To address that need — and the growing interest in sport management — Emporia State University is now offering a fully online undergraduate degree in this area, in addition to its already established on-campus program.

“Offering both on-campus and online program options in sport leadership and recreation provides benefits for all kinds of students,” said Dr. Paul Luebbers, chair of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation department at ESU. “The new online program gives students an opportunity to work at their own speed and will accommodate students who require distance learning due to less flexible family or work schedules. The onsite learning experience provides hands-on practical training, accommodating a variety of learning styles, and gives students a chance to develop effective in-person communication skills.”

“The versatility of this degree will help students attain immediate employment and open up future doors for aspiring sport and recreation professionals,” said Dr. Mark Lasota, assistant professor in HPER.

Whether on-campus or online, the sport leadership and recreation program will prepare students for numerous in-demand careers, including sport marketing, NCAA compliance, event coordinator, recreation director, fundraising, college/university athletics, coaching, scouting and athletics director, according to Lasota.

Before coming to ESU, Lasota spent his previous 13 years working with thousands of students from diverse backgrounds in traditional onsite, online and hybrid settings.

“Lasota brings extensive industry experience in sports and recreation,” Luebbers said. “He spent several years coaching multiple sports at the Division I, community college, high school and junior high levels and has served as a recreational camp director, fitness facility supervisor and sport manager.”

Among Lasota’s most notable experiences was working crowd management operations and public relations for Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, California.

More information can be found at