A quick Q&A with the new Director of Campus Recreation and Outdoor Programs, Phil Hoffmann

June 26, 2017

You could say that Phil Hoffmann, the new director of campus recreation and outdoor programs, is passionate about the outdoors and recreation, but of course, that would not tell the whole story.

The Atlanta native, who first arrived on campus earlier this summer and to the high country three years prior, earned his undergraduate recreation degree from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, and his master’s degree in Outdoor Programs Development from Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona.

Before coming to campus, Hoffmann worked in the outdoor recreation sales industry, teaching and helping those to “make their own life-long memories,” he said.

Since college and during his years in the industry, Hoffmann has become determined to further develop a career centered on the outdoors.

Now, Hoffmann is here to teach students, staff and faculty how to get active and blow off some steam in new, refreshing ways.  

Get to know Hoffmann a little more with our most recent staff Q&A: (responses have been edited for brevity and clarity)

Since you began earlier this summer, what have you been up to in preparation for the new academic year?

Well, the position is two-fold. Part of the job is creating a general recreation program for students. This can mean anything from kickball in the gym to ultimate Frisbee clubs or intramurals. There is a population we can service through general campus recreation, but the other part of the position is continuing to grow the efforts that Lees-McRae Adjunct Instructor of Physical Education, Dee Thomas, has put in–which is to continue to grow an already outstanding outdoor program.

What do you hope to bring to Lees-McRae?

I would like the student recreation complex to be the coolest place on campus.

That simple, huh?

Yes! Of course, the building is in various states of usability. It is part of the fundraising campaign to continue renovating it and I think we have a blank canvas there. Will it be the coolest building on campus over night? Probably not, but I think that is something to strive for. Get students down there and make it a place where they can build relationships and use health and wellness to escape the stress of college life and studies.

Why do you feel like campus recreation and outdoor sports is so important for young adults, especially college students?

Well, recreation is a big part of people’s decompression and stress relief and that takes on many different forms. However, campus recreation is not just a great way to blow off steam. It also gives the opportunity for students to turn to a potential career path that may be more non-traditional than the typical. Recreation is an opportunity–there is an industry there, and that has grown quite a bit.

Why are you so passionate about what you do? How did you discover that this was something you wanted to pursue as a career? What keeps you pushing along that career path?

For me, it’s a matter of quality of life. I have been in sales for a long time, and typically, when you are in sales you are really in it. There is a passion of getting people what they need in order to get them outside to make life-long memories and potentially encourage them to improve their quality of life. You don’t need to be competitive to get out there and improve the quality of your life, and for me, that is what it has been about.

If you could go outside right now and play any sport or do any recreational activity you wanted to, what would you choose?

Other than spending time outside with my kids, I would go find a place to rock climb. 

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email: mastandrean@lmc.edu