The new sports on the block

The Wellness Center administration hired a new team member, Cody Ford, as the Assistant Director. Ford started his journey at MSU in 2014 where he received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and master’s degree in sports administration. Starting as a rec sports player in his freshman year, then moving on to intern and now assistant director, Ford fell in love with this career before it even started.

cody ford
Recreational sports assistant director Cody Ford sits at his desk in the Wellness Center. June 2. (Bridget Reilly)

“I absolutely love it. This is something I’ve been wanting to do since my sophomore and junior year while I was in my criminal justice program. Luckily, when I was going to MSU, I participated in rec sports all the time. Caleb [Hannon] was the assistant director for a few years and he ended up being an interim director for a while. I learned a lot from him when I worked for him. I worked at the Wellness when I was a freshman and sophomore. I learned what he was doing. As a sophomore, I was like ‘that would be awesome where your job is to help other students play sports.’ I fell in love with that idea,” Ford says. 

Ford’s personal connection to the Wellness Center inspires him to help students like the program helped him.

“I can speak from experience now, not only am I running the program, but I went through it for six years. 90 percent of my friends now, I met them when I was a freshman and I only knew like two people here. I saw them playing football on the field one day and asked to play with them. They were like we have a flag football team, and I didn’t think any of it. Now six years later, I’ve been to two of their weddings, and they are coming to mine. It’s just lifelong friends that I made through rec sports. I got lucky that day when they were out there,” Ford said. 

The upcoming season

The Redwine Wellness Center offers student-based intramural sports in the fall and spring semester for all current MSU students. Students can enjoy women’s, men’s, and co-ed (containing at least three females) flag football, volleyball, indoor soccer, dodgeball, kickball, softball, basketball, table tennis, and pickleball.  

“We have two free playfields that we use for outdoor soccer. We have outdoor basketball courts. Right here by the Wellness Center, we share the turf practice field, and we usually do ultimate frisbee and flag football out here. We have two basketball courts, where we can run two games at a time. We have an outdoor sand volleyball court,” Ford said.

A member of “The Royal Family” jumps for the offensive rebound, surrounded by “SNG” members. March 5. Photo by Colin Stevenson.

Students can expect a new sport on the block coming in the fall. Ford had the privilege to add tetherball to the selection. 

“It’s really cheap to buy and it’s a lot of fun because you think it was easy but you go swing at the ball and you hit the rope and you’re out. I played it all the time as a kid in school. So we are adding that to our list in the fall,” Ford said. 

Students can sign up at and choose Midwestern State University. After creating an account, students can create teams or join pre-existing teams. Players can access sign-ups, schedule change, and the roster through IMLeagues website and mobile app compatible with Apple Store and Google Play. 

“People can create teams or they can join as a free agent. So if you have a bunch of friends that want to play, you can create your own team. Or if you don’t know a lot of people, you can join as a free agent and any team can pick you up,” Ford said. 

“We offer a lot of different sports. I know in the past there used to be like five or six sports only. We’ve been trying to broaden the horizon and getting to each demographic. The graduate students want to play this sport but the undergrad wants to play this. We are trying to reach everyone so they can all participate,” Ford said. 

Since intramural sports are student-based, all officiating is done by students. 

“I did this when I was a sophomore here and that’s what helped me get into the position I am now. I saw how everything was run, I learned how to set up and take down different equipment,” Ford said.

Students can apply through MustangsLinks under Recreational Sports as the Rec Sports Manager. Ford will be teaching an officiating course to train managers on how to properly referee all the games.

“Nobody is unqualified necessarily if they are a student here. It says manager because you are expected to help manage the games that go on. I don’t want anyone to feel discouraged if they might not have enough experience for that. If you have a passion for sports and you have experience in actually officiating or running a score table then this will definitely be a perfect fit for you,” Ford said. 

Students can send their suggestions to Assistant Director Cody Ford at his email [email protected]

“We like to tell students to give suggestions. If there is a sport that we are not offering but you think we should. We love to get suggestions,” Ford said. 

Students can also stay connected with the Wellness for notifications of upcoming seasons and signups at their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.