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Lemons talks journey as director of Campus Recreation

Arriving+to+St.+Edward%E2%80%99s+University+in+2009%2C+Lemons+saw+an+opportunity+to+build+a+Campus+Recreation+program+from+the+ground+up.%C2%A0
Arriving to St. Edward’s University in 2009, Lemons saw an opportunity to build a Campus Recreation program from the ground up. 

Arriving to St. Edward’s University in 2009, Lemons saw an opportunity to build a Campus Recreation program from the ground up. 

Arriving to St. Edward’s University in 2009, Lemons saw an opportunity to build a Campus Recreation program from the ground up. 

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Andy Lemons, director of campus recreation, was one deposit away from being a lawyer.

In the midst of completing his BA in History at the University of Texas at Austin, Lemons had various law school options around the country. However, he had spent 30-40 hours per week working at UT RecSports as an intramural official and building supervisor. Before accepting admission, his boss asked him: “What have you done in your free time to prepare for law school? And how much time have you spent in the Rec Sports program?”

“I had never considered Campus Recreation as a career, but having my boss take the time to ask me and present collegiate recreation and student affairs as a viable career path really opened my eyes to this career,” Lemons said. “I never could be a coach, and certainly wasn’t going to be a professional athlete. However, providing recreational and fitness programs for the students at the college level was something that appealed to me.”

Lemons, born in the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia, moved to Texas in fifth grade, where he grew up playing every sport he could think of, including basketball and baseball.

“When I was in fourth grade, I was pitching and hit my best friend in the face with a wild pitch,” Lemons said. “When I saw his face gushing blood, I decided baseball wasn’t for me.”

Arriving to St. Edward’s University in 2009, Lemons saw an opportunity to build a Campus Recreation program from the ground up. Both an exciting but challenging task, Lemons has helped grow the program.

Intramural offerings includes numerous leagues and tournaments per semester, GroupX Fitness classes offers 28 fitness classes per week and personal training over 50 clients per year. There are now over 20 club sports, which have over 200 students participating. The revitalization of the UFCU Alumni Gym offers more room to conduct these activities, as well as just recreation for the St. Edward’s community. The student staff has also grown from six to over 60.

“Andy is a great boss and is so passionate about this school and program,” Recreation and Convocation Center staff worker Lauren Zambrano said. “He really cares about the students.”

For Lemons, the motivation is raising awareness of an active lifestyle.

“Studies show that students who are physically active perform better in the classroom, graduate on time and retain in the institution at a higher rate that those who do not,” he said.

Though students come to St. Edward’s for education, education is not limited to the classroom. Rather, education can come through taking care of physical fitness for the rest of one’s life.

“If someone’s first yoga class was in our GroupX program, and they fall in love with yoga, then we hope they will continue to practice yoga for the rest of their lives,” Lemons said.

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Lemons talks journey as director of Campus Recreation