Sport Management Professor Dr. Jimmy Disch receives prestigious David K. Brace Award

 Sport Management Professor Dr. Jimmy Disch receives prestigious David K. Brace Award

Over his vast years of teaching and coaching in the Houston community and Rice University in particular, Dr. Jimmy Disch has made a name for himself. His outstanding accomplishments branch out over many fields and on December 1st, 2017, Disch was recognized with the highest honor presented to an individual in his field of work: the David K. Brace Award.

According to its website, the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) presents the David K. Brace Award to individuals “who are clearly outstanding in the profession, who exemplify the best in service, teaching, and/or administration, who are recognized by members as noteworthy leaders, and whose lives and contributions inspire others.”

Dr. Disch Award

“I was very excited to find out that I had won such a prestigious award,” Disch said. “I look at the list of previous winners and I see the names of people who I have had tremendous respect for my entire career. It is an honor for me to be on the same list as those previous winners.”

Disch received his undergraduate degree from the University of Houston majoring in Health and Physical Education as well as Mathematics. He then went on to receive a Master’s degree in Education at UH and then ultimately a Doctoral degree at Indiana University-Bloomington where he focused more on his passion for Kinesiology and Physical Education but through the avenue of research and statistics.

Looking back at it now, Disch was surprised at how far he has come considering early in his life he had planned to be a local high school math teacher and a coach.

“As a senior in college, I thought I would be a high school math teacher and basketball and baseball coach,” Disch said. “But I was the president of leadership honor fraternity that involved faculty as well. I liked what I saw from the faculty and I decided that I wanted to teach at the college level.”

Disch eventually made his way to Rice University and has been here ever since but only after a number of things had to happen.

“I taught for one year at UH and took some additional classes. Then I went to Indiana University with the promise of a job at UH when I finished,” said Disch. “When I graduated, UH reneged on the job offer. Fortunately, at the same time, a faculty member at Rice resigned in August. They offered the job to one of my good friends, but he had already accepted a job at the University of Texas. Rice then offered the job to me!”

The way things worked out couldn’t have been any better for both Disch and for Rice University. He came to Rice in 1973 and was then promoted with tenure in 1979. Before Rice had a Department of Sport Management, Disch was heavily involved in the Kinesiology Department. He served as the department chair from 1995 to 2001 and has published numerous articles related to that that field. In addition to his job teaching, he served as a college magister of Sid Richardson residential college from 1986-91.

Disch has no plans of slowing down even one bit.

“I am finishing my 45th year at Rice. If I can make it five more years that would be a nice half century!” said Disch. “I was a faculty member in the department for 40 years and chaired it for five and a half. Being a member of the Department of Sport Management, and directing the Sport Analytics track, has given me even more infusion."

Disch has already made his mark at Rice University and in the Houston area. He’s a well-respected professor and one of the most recognizable faces on campus.

“I feel like I lend a sense of history to Rice. My uncle graduated in 1925 and I have his class pin. My mom graduated in 1926. My daughter got her degree in 2007 and my son got a Masters of Arts in Teaching in 2008. I plan to stay involved with Rice from here on!”

Wilfrido Amador, a senior from Bryan, Texas, is majoring in Sport Management.