Larry Judge poses for a photo at the London Olympics.

Judge coached athletes at the World Para Athletics Championships in London. Kinesiology Chair Thomas Weidner applauds Judge’s “uncanny success” and how it reflects key elements of the school’s mission statement endorsing faculty scholarship that informs class content and attains national and international recognition. (Photo courtesy of Lawrence Judge)

Students in Lawrence Judge’s coaching education classes learn from a man who’s helped top athletes at the pinnacles of their careers. He tells students that the medal-winning Olympic and Paralympic athletes he’s coached have “cracked the code … giving attention to every detail, leaving nothing to chance and having 100 percent commitment.”

The same might be said of Judge’s own storied career as a coach, teacher and prolific researcher — all of which factor into the professor of kinesiology getting the Outstanding Faculty Award at the annual Fall Opening Convocation. Judge was among several top faculty and professional personnel honored during the Aug. 18 ceremony at Emens Auditorium (see full list).

Judge—who coordinates Ball State’s graduate athletic coaching education program and re-established the undergraduate coaching minor—deflected any praise for the honor, instead turning the spotlight to his mentors and the School of Kinesiology’s “longstanding tradition of excellence, as BSU was an early leader in exercise physiology and sport science.”

Ball State a leader in exercise research

Remembering the legacy of now-Director Emeritus David Costill, who launched Ball State’s pioneering Human Performance Laboratory, Judge noted that one of Costill’s former students, Scott Trappe, received the Outstanding Research Award at the convocation. Trappe is the John and Janice Fisher Professor of Exercise Science in kinesiology.

Larry Judge and President Geoff Mearns

Judge poses with President Mearns at the Faculty Convocation held Aug 18.

The program’s international reputation is what attracted Judge to Ball State. After receiving his doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana State University, he began teaching and coaching in 1992. His career has included five years as associate head women’s track and field coach at the University of Florida.

During 18 years coaching track and field and cross-country, Judge gained a reputation as the country’s premier coach for track and field throwing events (discus, hammer, javelin and shot put). He’s trained eight Olympians and 10 NCAA champions and coached more than 100 All-Americans. In 2003, Judge was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track Coaches Association (now he U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association).

Coaching more winners

This past summer, for the fifth time in his career, Judge was an assistant track and field coach for the U.S. national team at the World Para Athletics Championships in London. There, he guided Jeremy Campbell to his third consecutive gold medal at the world championship in the F44 discus throw, a category for athletes with lower limbs deficiency, leg-length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.

Having coached both Olympic and Paralympic athletes, Judge said the process is similar in most respects, although “coaching Paralympic athletes requires additional knowledge and application of biomechanics. It certainly has challenged me and caused me to be creative.”

A view from the trenches

Judge said he knows his students appreciate the extensive coaching knowledge he brings to his teaching. “You can only teach this type of experience to students by being there. … I think students want relevant practitioners as instructors who have been in the trenches—actively coaching elite athletes, working at Olympic and Paralympic training camps, coaching internationally. This is definitely a point of distinction for our online athletic coaching education master’s degree program.”

Larry Judge with two Olympic athletes.

At the London games, Judge coached Jeremy Campbell (left) to his third consecutive world championship in the F44 discus throw. Campbell and David Blair (right), also coached by Judge, finished first and second for the sweep and both eclipsed the world championship record. (Photo courtesy of Larry Judge)

Judge is also a firm believer in sharing research knowledge in a scholarly format. He said he received invaluable mentoring in this area from Professor Emeritus Bruce Craig, who recalls getting the same support from now-John & Janice Fisher Professor Emeritus of Exercise Science David Costill when Craig joined the Human Performance Laboratory.

When Judge came onto the kinesiology faculty, Craig was chair of the school’s tenure and promotion committee, “and it was my responsibility to meet with the untenured faculty to give them the committee’s decision each year,” he said. “Larry had excellent teaching ratings but was lacking in publications and grants. I volunteered my time to review his manuscripts prior to being submitted for publication.

“Over the years,” Craig continued, “we have formed a partnership that has led to many publications. Larry gives me a lot of credit for those articles, but I played a minor role in getting them into print. His success was due to the hard work he put into conducting the research and writing the papers in the first place.”

In addition to giving more than 200 refereed presentations across the country and overseas, Judge has authored 147 publications (24 in 2015 alone), obtained 18 grants (nearly $500,000 worth) and won many education and research awards. Judge was named a 2015 Research Fellow by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE); is a Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach Emeritus with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, recognizing at least 20 years of coaching experience; and was honored with the Joe Vigil Sport Science Award from USA Track & Field in 2016.

2017 Convocation Awards

Outstanding Faculty: Lawrence Judge, kinesiology

Outstanding Creative Endeavor: Chris Flook, telecommunications

Outstanding Junior Faculty: Katie Lawson, psychological science

Outstanding Research: Scott Trappe, kinesiology

Outstanding Teaching: Laura O’Hara, communication studies

Excellence in Teaching (EXIT): Matt Moore, social work; Jeff Spanke, English

Lawhead Award in General Education: Jen Rowland, philosophy

Outstanding Administrator: Robert Kvam, dean, College of Fine Arts

Outstanding Diversity Advocate: Jagdish Khubchandani, health science

Outstanding Faculty Advisor: Marilynn Quick, educational leadership

Outstanding Faculty Service: David Concepción, chair, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Judge also co-authored the textbooks “Sport Governance and Policy Development: An Ethical Approach to Managing Sport in the 21st Century” and “The Management of Fitness, Physical Activity, Recreation and Sport, Facility Management for Physical Activity and Sport,” and wrote the books “The Complete Track and Field Coaches’ Guide to Conditioning for the Throwing Events,” “The Shot Put Handbook” and “The Hammer Throw Handbook.”

In addition to serving as national chairman of USA Track & Field Coaching Education since 2012, Judge has been president of the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education; president of the Indiana Association for Health, Physical Activity, Recreation and Dance; and chair for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s Council on Facilities and Equipment (now SHAPE). Judge is currently the Indiana state director for the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Judge also gives back to the local community. For instance, under Judge’s tutelage, undergraduate students in the Exercise Science major designed and delivered an eight-week, 16-lesson fitness program to Muncie police officers. He is also active in the Chase Charlie running program, which educates and promotes healthy living in the Muncie community, and has worked with local schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie.

For Judge, winning this year’s Outstanding Faculty Award is really all about his students, from past and present to future, and he knows that feeling is shared by Ball State professors across the board. “I am most proud of my work with our students.

“As faculty, we play a significant role in helping foster innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset among them as professionals. I thrive on their energy, creativeness, and innovative spirit. Working with students motivates me to stay up to date and be the best professional I can be.”

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