Tarleton’s Dr. Sadler Named TAMU System Regents Professor

Dr. Wendell Sadler

STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University Professor Wendell Sadler has been named a Regents Professor by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents — one of 12 for 2022-23.

The regents established the award in 1996 to recognize faculty who have made extraordinary contributions to their university and to the people of Texas.

“You can only imagine the extreme honor,” Dr. Sadler said. “Being a Regents Professor is something you don’t dream about but you aspire to, because of your convictions and dedication to this business.”

Dr. Sadler is considered a model for junior faculty members. He spent 45 years as an educator, including 29 on the Tarleton faculty, beginning in 1993. He retired in August from the Department of Sport Science within the School of Kinesiology.

A respected mentor in teacher development, he is known for an innovative instructional approach that has earned him several prestigious honors, including selection as a Fellow in the Richardson Foundation in 1999 and the recipient of Tarleton’s Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2006. He received Tarleton’s Barry B. Thompson Service Award and O.A. Grant Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Scholars Series is named in his honor.

“I’m very proud of the other awards,” he said, “but this one kind of culminates your career.” His career highlights include more than 45 scholarly research presentations and 20 published articles pertaining to health, physical education and sport.  

A member of the Texas State Guard since 2005, he was promoted to colonel in 2019. He is a life member of the National Guard Association of Texas.

“Selfless service is the cornerstone of Dr. Sadler’s professional and personal credo,” said Dr. Kayla Peak, Dean of the School of Kinesiology. “He is a man of honor, integrity and generosity, fully committed to developing students to become leaders, scholars and actively engaged members of the kinesiology profession. 

“I have watched Wendell as he challenges our young undergraduates to move from the role of student to that of an engaged scholar and professional. His influence is meaningful and powerful. He is strengthening our profession by influencing the leaders of tomorrow.”

In 2021 Dr. Sadler received the David K. Brace Award from the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for exemplifying the best in service, teaching and administration. He was the first recipient of the association’s Trailblazer award in 2008, and he received its Honor Award in 1998. He is a past TAHPERD president and vice president and has served on its board of directors.

Prior to joining Tarleton, he taught at the University of South Dakota, Temple Junior College and Texas A&M. He has coached tennis at all competitive levels. 

He holds a doctorate of education in kinesiology/educational administration from Texas A&M, a master’s in education from Baylor University and a bachelor’s in physical education from Campbellsville University.

“As a colleague since 2006, I have been able to witness Dr. Sadler ‘in action’ as he encourages students to embrace growth even if that means becoming uncomfortable,” Dr. Peak said. “Success cannot occur without an unyielding commitment to the process and the educational journey. 

“As a seasoned professional, Wendell Sadler has never taken the easy path, and that is how he has made a lasting impact on the students and the profession. He is truly worthy of the Regents Professor Awardbecause he has dedicated his life to building leaders within higher education and the kinesiology profession.”

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