Faculty | Exercise and Sport Science Major | Concordia University Irvine

Communication Studies


School of Arts and Sciences


Director, Sport Management Program
School of Business Professor


Curt is in his 26th year at Concordia University as professor in the School of Business and Director of the Sport Management Program. He also teaches Sport Psychology in the Masters of Coaching and Athletic Administration Program at CUI. While at Concordia University Curt has served as the Department Chair for Exercise and Sport Science, Head Softball Coach, Director of Athletics, and Faculty Athletics Representative. In connection with the Sports Management program, he also provided training seminars for Shanghai Sport Bureau for 3 years prior to and during the Beijing 2008 Olympics. On the anniversary date of the 08 Beijing Olympics, he presented at the 2009 International Forum of China Sports Culture and Economic Development in Beijing, China, on the topic "How the American experience in the area of sport, coaching, and athletic education would benefit the cultivation of sport talents in China."

Prior to coming to Concordia University Curt served at Martin Luther High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for 18 years where he coached football, wrestling, and track & field. For 13 years he was the Director of Athletics and was the key principle in the athletic facility development for the school adding game and practice fields for football, baseball, soccer, softball, and a track & field facility. He served on local, conference, and state athletic boards, receiving an Athletic Director of the Year award for the 87-88 year.

Curt earned his BS in Physical Education and Biology at Concordia University Nebraska, participating in wrestling and football. He received his MS degree in Human Kinetics from University of Wisconsin, and PhD in Sports Administration from University of New Mexico. While working on his degree in Sport Administration at the U. of New Mexico, he developed the Sport Management Program with the help from the School of Business. The program has continued to grow and is the 3rd largest emphasis in the Business Administration Major at Concordia University.

Department Chair/Assistant Dean

Degrees Earned

  • University of New Mexico, Ph.D in Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science 2009
  • University of New Mexico, M.S. in Physical Education Pedagogy 2005
  • New Mexico State University, B.S. in Physical Education 2000


Dr. Terry Olson serves as Assistant Professor and Co-Chair of Exercise and Sport Science at Concordia University in Irvine. Terry received his Ph.D from the University of New Mexico where he held positions of both research and teaching assistant in the Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) Program. Dr. Olson’s current research emphasis is on self-regulation and critical thinking of pre-service teachers in physical education. Prior to accepting the call to teach at Concordia University, Terry was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas-Arlington and began his educational career as an elementary physical education teacher in both Las Cruces, NM and Mansfield, TX.

Terry continues to work closely with the community as an advocate for health and wellness. Terry currently provides health and leadership education for numerous local non-profit organizations on their wellness initiatives and is a founder of the BREATH Foundation offering health and wellness support to the underserved population in Orange County as well as our military members at Camp Pendleton.

Prior to Terry’s academic career, he served in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft structural mechanic on FA 18 Hornets aboard the USS Independence aircraft carrier stationed in Atsugi, Japan.

When Terry is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Michele and two children Tyler (8) and Macey (6).

Program Director of Athletic Training Education

Degrees Earned

  • Southern Illinois University (1990) Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with Specialization in Athletic Training.
  • University of Louisiana - Monroe (1992) Master of Education in Exercise Physiology
  • Union University (2014). Doctor of Education in Higher Education


Cliff Pawley enters his third year as full time faculty at Concordia University Irvine following thirteen years in athletic training administration at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is appointed as the Program Director of Athletic Training Education at Concordia, a position that he previously held at Union for 9 years. He also served as the Associate Head Athletic Trainer for Union University's men's basketball team and served 4 years that the athletic training programs Clinical Education Coordinator. Cliff holds current memberships in good standing with the National Athletic Trainer's Association (NATA) the Southeast Athletic Trainer’s Association (FWATA), and the California Athletic Trainers Association (CATA). He was certified by the National Athletic Trainer's Association Board of Certification in 1990 and been licensed to practice in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. He was appointed to the State of Tennessee Board of Athletic Trainers in 2011 and also served as a liaison to the TATS Education Committee. In 2014 he received the Jerry Robertson Educator Award by the membership of the Tennessee Athletic Trainer Society for service to promoting athletic training education in the State of Tennessee. He also he the SEATA Education/Administration Athletic Trainer Award in 2015.

Cliff is originally from Elkville, Illinois where he graduated from Elverado High School in 1980. Following four years of service in the United States Navy, Cliff pursued degrees from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale (Bachelor of Science, 1990), University of Louisiana - Monroe (Master of Education, 1992), and Union University Doctor of Education, 2014) with emphases in athletic training, exercise physiology, and higher education respectively. His background of professional practice includes 10 years of service at three private physical therapy practices in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Fairhope, Alabama and Bay Minette, Alabama in which he was responsible for coordinating outreach sports medicine programs for Pascagoula, Moss Point, Daphne and Baldwin County High Schools. Cliff began teaching career as an adjunct instructor at the University of Mobile and Faulkner State Community College before accepting a faculty appointment at Union in 2001.

Cliff is married to the former Sherrie Cossey of Senatobia, Mississippi. They share their home in Aliso Viejo with their dogs, Beau and Chevy. Cliff has one daughter, Bethany, who is 18. Sherrie has three children, Caty, Courtney, and Codi Lyn, ages 23, 21, and 16 respectively.

His interests include cycling, body boarding, paddle boarding, roller coasters, basketball, softball, golf, physical fitness, watching college sports and spending time with his family.

Preuss, Timothy

Dean of the School of Professional Studies

Dr. Tim Preuss serves as Dean of the School of Professional Studies at Concordia University in Irvine. Dr. Preuss' career began in education where he served as a high school teacher and coach from 1983-85 in Houston, TX. In 1985 he accepted a call to Concordia University in Nebraska. Preuss served as assistant football coach and Director of Admissions until 1994 when he joined the faculty as a Professor of Health and Human Performance. In addition to football, he also assumed head coaching duties for the softball team and won three league titles between 1994 and 2001. In 2005 Preuss accepted the call to become Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science and Director of Athletics at Concordia – Irvine. During his tenure, the athletic department gained national prominence, finishing 6th, 5th, 3rd and 2nd in the Directors Cup National All-Sports standings. As Dean of the School, Dr. Preuss oversees the Townsend Institute, the Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration, the Nursing Program and Concordia’s Adult Degree Programs in Applied Liberal Arts, Business Administration and Leadership, Health Care Management, Organizational Psychology and Non-Profit Leadership. Preuss also has oversight of Concordia’s Around-The-World semester. Dr. Preuss received his doctorate in Post-Secondary Leadership from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2001. Dr. Preuss is married to Debbie Lang-Preuss. He and Debbie have four children: Seth (23 and a graduate student at Concordia), Lydia (18 and a freshman at Concordia), Matthew (15) and Abigail (12).

View Curriculum Vitae

Coordinator of Clinical Education

Degrees Earned

  • Ed.D. (doctoral candidate) United States Sports Academy, Daphne AL
  • M.B.A. Concordia University, Irvine 2005
  • B.A. ESS/Athletic Training - Concordia University, Irvine 2003


Hometown: San Juan Capistrano, CA

Jennifer Rizzo started her career at Concordia University in 2002 as a student-athlete on the volleyball team majoring in athletic training. Upon graduating, she became the graduate assistant athletic trainer while getting her Master’s in business administration. In 2005 she was hired as a full-time Assistant Athletic Trainer. She did not stay in that position long, becoming assistant professor in Exercise and Sport Science in 2007. In 2011 Dr. Rizzo became the ATEP Program Director and she continues to work with the volleyball program. Dr. Rizzo earned her B.A. in exercise and sport science, emphasis on athletic training in 2003 from Concordia University, Irvine. In 2005 she earned her Master’s in business administration, also from Concordia University. She is currently working on her Ed D from the United States Sports Academy.

Dr. Rizzo played volleyball in college at Georgia State University and continues to enjoy recreational volleyball. She also enjoys hiking mountains such as Kilimanjaro and being in the outdoors. Her only child is her cute puppy Joey.

Associated Faculty

Degrees Earned

  • B.S. University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • M.S. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • PhD University of Illinois, Urbana, IL


Dr. Tammen teaches motor learning, sport psychology and historical and socio-cultural foundations of sport and physical education. His research specialty is the social psychology of sport and physical activity. He has two main area of research 1) motivation of coaches and athletes, 2) wellness across the life span. He has written 3 book chapters, 6 refereed journal publications, over 30 refereed publications in conference proceeding, over 30 original service publications, has conducted over 65 refereed scholarly presentations, conducted over 40 sport psychology service presentations, and has done thousands of hours of sport psychology service to athletes, coaches, & organizations. Dr. Tammen also helped found the Concordia University Masters Degree Program in Coaching and Athletic Administration.

Prior to God’s call to Concordia University, Dr. Tammen was an Assistant Professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and prior to that he was a lecturer of sport psychology at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He also taught at the University of Illinios-Urbana and at Kansas State University. He did his sport psychology internship at the United States Olympic Training Center at Colorado Springs.

Dr. Tammen played football into his early 30s, but he now enjoys all forms of sport and physical activity.

His research specialty is the social psychology of sport and physical activity. He has two main area of research 1) motivation of coaches and athletes, 2) wellness across the life span. He has written 3 book chapters, 6 refereed journal publications, over 30 refereed publications in conference proceeding, over 30 original service publications, has conducted over 65 refereed scholarly presentations, conducted over 40 sport psychology service presentations, and has done thousands of hours of sport psychology service to athletes, coaches, & organizations.

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