About the Department of Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences
The Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences (HSES) has a proud history. James Naismith (ppt), the inventor of basketball and KU's first basketball coach and athletic director began teaching physical education in 1898 – twelve years before the School of Education came into existence. Notable alumni of the department include runner Billy Mills and football great Gale Sayers. In addition to its academic programs, HSES offers research opportunities for faculty and students in a variety of laboratories and clinics. Current research endeavors include the Research and Coaching Performance Team, Laboratory for the Study of Sport Management, and various projects in the various teaching and research laboratories. The department is also active in community outreach with the Children's Swim Program, a summer Sports Skills & Fitness School, and Hawk Fitness Academy program that offers mentoring and healthy activities for girls in grades four-six.
The department is housed in Robinson Center. Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball and the first Chair of the Physical Education Department (now HSES) played a key role, along with Chancellor Frank Strong, in the planning and construction of the facility that was called "the best university gymnasium west of the Mississippi River." Robinson Center, in its present location at the intersection of Naismith Dr. and Sunnyside Ave., opened in 1967. Building amenities include nine classrooms, six basketball courts, three workout rooms, a gymnastics room, a computer laboratory for students and two swimming pools. Robinson Center is used by a wide variety of KU and non-KU individuals/groups including the KU swim team, student weight-lifting clubs, faculty, students, staff, and spouses of faculty, students, and staff.
In addition, the department offers physical activity classes for KU students and fitness and recreation facilities for faculty and staff.