Huffines Institute Staff

Institute Director: Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot
PhD FACSM RCEP CES, Omar Smith Endowed Chair in Kinesiology, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.

Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot is currently the Omar Smith Endowed Professor of Kinesiology and the Director of the Sydney and JL Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. Dr. Lightfoot received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from University of Louisiana Monroe and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He completed a research consultantship with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Kennedy Space Center in the Biomedical Laboratory and then a three-year National Institute of Health postdoctoral research fellowship in the Division of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University. Read More

Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy: Dr. John Thornton
PhD, Executive Professor, Health and Kinesiology Department

As the inaugural Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy, Dr. Thornton brings a wealth of experience as an athlete, coach, and athletic administrator to the position. After playing high school and junior college basketball in San Antonio, Thornton came to Aggieland to play for Coach Shelby Metcalf. Thornton was the 1973-1974 Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year after being the second-leading scorer and rebounder on the Aggie squad. In 1974-75, Thornton was the team captain and helped lead the Aggies to the 1975 SWC Championship title. Read More

Lead Institute Administrative Assistant: Mr. Carlos Guevara
Carlos is currently a senior in Sports Management and a member of the Coaching Academy cohort. Carlos has been with the Huffines Institute since 2015 and has worked with our Huffines Human Performance Minutes and has served as an executive producer for the Huffines Institute. He currently serves as the Lead Administrative Assistant. After Graduation he plans to teach and coach at the High School Level.

Institute Executive Producer: Ms. Alexis Appelquist
Alexis is a senior Biomedical Sciences major and Business minor. She previously worked as an undergraduate Athletic Trainer for the Athletics Department and has been with the Huffines Institute since 2015. Alexis is a content producer and has worked on the podcasts, TexAgs Huffines Human Performance Minutes, and text articles. 

Institute Executive Producer: Mr. Blake Crawford
Blake is currently a junior Kinesiology major with business and psychology minors from Mansfield, TX. Blake became involved with the Huffines Institute in 2017 and now works as an Executive Producer over all the Institute's media content. 

Communications Specialist: Mr. Dell Billings
Mr. Billings, '95 (Agricultural Journalism), is the Communication Specialist for the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M, but his services are displayed throughout the Huffines Institute's website. Mr. Billings has a long history in local media, having worked at KBTX for 10 years and KWTX for two years before joining Texas A&M's HLKN Department.



Mr. Jorge Granados, MS
Jorge is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology. He received his Bachelors degree in Sports & Exercise Science and Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX.

Mr. Ayland Letsinger, BS
Ayland is a fourth-year doctoral candiate in Exercise Physiology with interest in genomics. He completed his Bachelor's in Kinesiology with a concentration in motor behavior and a minor in psychology at Texas A&M in the Spring of 2015. His enthusiasm to learn about the latest information about health and human development led him to work for the Huffines Institute as the Podcast Executive Producer as an undergraduate, and to transition into the doctoral program.

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