Sport and Exercise Science Professor Triumphs with Teamwork

Sport and Exercise Science Professor Triumphs with Teamwork

Photo by Amy Floyd, UCF College of Education and Human Performance

Developing a teamwork ethic from playing sports during school while growing up in the Midwest prepared UCF College of Education and Human Performance’s Sport and Exercise Science’s professor Jeffrey Stout for success.

Besides being a track and field athlete, he aspired to be a high-school science teacher and was working towards a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in physics. His career path changed after reading about Exercise Science Master’s and Ph.D. programs in a University of Nebraska-Lincoln brochure during his junior year at Concordia University in Seward, Neb.

Stout changed his major after learning Concordia University was going to offer a bachelor of science degree in exercise science. He was the first student to graduate in the program and later received his master of physical education degree in exercise science and an Exercise Physiology Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Neb.

Stout is fascinated with exercise physiology because “exercise has an effect on every physiological system in the human body, and how we manipulate exercise intensity, volume and mode can cause wide-ranging effects on the body.”

He also says “nutrition and exercise training are related intimately to athletic performance, and nutrition is a major factor for an athlete reaching their genetic potential.”

Stout has applied his research into practice by publishing more than 220 studies, eight books and 10 book chapters during his career.

For the past 25 years, Stout has been a member of research teams that have examined the impact of youth-sport participation on growth and development. He has also researched the influence of various nutritional supplements and its effects on body composition and exercise performance with men and women in different age groups. His main focus has been on skeletal muscle fatigue, which is a key factor in human performance in all age groups.

He provided service by consulting with Olympic athletes and professional baseball and football teams at no charge in the past. Stout’s expertise has also gone the distance in the NASCAR industry. He was contacted by Yates Racing’s owner Robert Yates while he was an assistant professor of exercise science at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. 15 years ago.

Yates asked for Stout’s assistance with getting his pit crew into better physical shape and improving their pit-stop time on the racetrack. NASCAR pit crews hustle while changing four 75-pound tires, filling up stock cars with 50-pound gallons of gas and washing the windows in under 20 seconds.

Stout’s challenge was breaking down the pit crews’ movements and determining how to improve their power and speed. Stout coordinated with a strength-conditioning coach about conducting specialized exercises three times a week while he provided the pit crew with a nutritional and dietary supplement program. The plan of action worked and resulted in the pit crew significantly improving pit times and winning NASCAR’s biggest prize, the Winston Cup championship, at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Penn. in 2001.

His accomplishments have continued at the UCF College of Education and Human Performance. Stout received the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s prestigious 2013 William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist and 2015 Educator of the Year Awards during his tenure.

Persistence and hard work also paid off for the sport and exercise science’s faculty and doctoral students. The Ph.D. program was recently ranked sixth in the nation by the National Academy of Kinesiology.

Stout is proud of the vanguard program and says “great grad students and a team approach among faculty will always foster success every time.”

The CEDHP sport and exercise science faculty and graduate students conduct research in five state-of-the-art labs. The faculty mentor the students throughout the research process providing them with a chance to be principal investigators on funded studies, write and publish papers, teach and deliver presentations at national meetings.

Stout feels the labs are creating remarkable results that will help athletes in the long run.

“What’s exciting about the Institute for Exercise Physiology and Wellness is our capability to conduct translational research with animals and humans. We have examined the effect of different recovery modalities on immune response, cell signaling, oxidative stress and performance post-muscle damaging exercise. The results along with many other studies help practitioners like athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and nutritionists develop recovery strategies for their athletes and to keep them healthy.”

In addition to being a professor and sports-nutrition expert along with spending quality time with his family and American Akita dog Sumo, Stout has a black belt (Shodan) in judo and enjoys coaching and watching his children Nicole, 18 and Jeffrey, 16 compete in national and international judo competitions.

Stout is passionate about teaching and advises students “to choose a school with a program that actively conducts sport and exercise science research because they’re the ones that are most up to date.”

Stout is proud of his CEDHP achievements but feels it wouldn’t be possible without the college’s assistance.

“I’m thankful for all of the support CEDHP has provided over the past four years. We would have never received our sixth place ranking as one of the best Ph.D. Exercise Physiology programs in the country. That’s what I’m most proud of at CEDHP.”