James Whitaker

Associate Professor and Program Director, Sport Management

Ph.D., Sport Management & Leadership, Concordia University Chicago
M.A., Health & Exercise Science, Furman University
M.S., Educational Leadership, Bob Jones University
B.S., Mathematics Education, Bob Jones University

Dr. James Whitaker joined the faculty of CIU as Program Director of Sport Management in 2020, after serving in the CIU Athletic Department.  Whitaker came to CIU in 2011 to help start Rams Athletics; he was assistant athletic director and the first men’s soccer coach.  In 2016, Whitaker became the Athletic Director, leading the CIU Rams through a period of growth: he oversaw the addition of 6 new sports, led CIU into membership in the NAIA as part of the Appalachian Athletics Conference, and oversaw the construction of a number of new athletic facilities.  In addition to his work in athletics, Dr. Whitaker has many years of classroom experience, serving as adjunct faculty member at CIU in Sport Management, teaching exercise science courses at Clearwater Christian College for five years, and teaching high school math and PE for 10 years.

Prior to coming to CIU, Whitaker served as Athletic Director and Men’s Soccer Coach at Clearwater Christian College, where he led his team to back-to-back National Championships in 2009 and 2010 and was twice named National Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).  Whitaker has served in a variety of leadership roles within the NCCAA, including serving on the Board of Directors, South Region Chair, and National Vice-Chair for men’s soccer.

Dr. Whitaker is passionate about using his many years of experience as a coach and athletic administrator to encourage his students to use the platform of sports to impact others and share the Gospel.  When not in the classroom, James enjoys spending time with his family.  He and his wife Beth live in Columbia and have 5 children: Jillian, Madeline, Davis, Ellison, and Jackson.  He enjoys coaching his son’s club soccer team, playing golf and tennis, and following a variety of different sports.