2002: Ed.D. Sports Management
Dr. Mickey Kerr has gone from building baseball teams as a college coach to building a Sports Management program at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.
Kerr became a college head baseball coach at the age of 23 and served as a Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball coach for eight years until 2001. Then he earned his doctorate in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy and transitioned from the dugout to the classroom.
Today, the 54-year-old Kerr is the Division III school’s Sport Management Program director, which he started in 2001, and Exercise and Sport Science professor.
Kerr spoke with the Alumni Network about steroids tarnishing the game of baseball, making a career shift from coach to professor and the building of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Sports Management Program.
Alumni Network: Another baseball season is in full swing, how do you think the steroid issue affected the game?
Mickey Kerr: I really do hate to see how steroids have affected the game. Now if a player is successful one of the first questions is have they had some artificial help? They don’t give the athlete the benefit of the doubt. Now you have the San Francisco Giants pitcher Guillermo Mota suspended for 100 games for his second positive drug test, even though he says it is from using a children’s cough syrup. Fortunately, out school is Division III and very few of our players go on to play professionally. Our college atmosphere is just different and we’ve had no experiences with performance-enhancing drugs. I don’t think our players even thought about it.
Alumni Network: How hard for you was it to shift careers?
Mickey Kerr: I miss baseball every day, there’s no question about it. But I do like what I’m doing. It was not something I had planned on. Getting my doctorate was just a personal goal. To be very honest with you, I was scared to death when I first started there at the Academy. I hadn’t taken any classes in quite some time. I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it hadn’t been for the Academy. It enhanced my career. It enhanced my quality of life. It has done a lot of great things for me personally and professionally.
Alumni Network: How was it to create a Sports Management Program from scratch in 2001 for your university?
Mickey Kerr: It was a big challenge and very exciting to get something off the ground. I was in my second year at the Academy when the dean of the exercise department told me we were getting ready to start a Sports Management Program. I started paying really close attention to my classes. I did my dissertation on starting a Sports Management Program at a small college. I’ve been doing it for 10 years now. Right now, I’m evaluating our program, which we do each year, to see if there are any improvements we can make or should consider.