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Larry Mellinger hired as new University Recreation director

Article Date

By Wyatt Crosher, assistant director of communications for student affairs

Larry Mellinger smiling with a green and yellow tie

Larry Mellinger, who most recently was director of Campus Recreation and Wellness at Elon University, has been named the director of University Recreation (UREC) at UNC Charlotte. His appointment was effective June 28.

At Charlotte, Mellinger will lead UREC through its continued goals to engage the University community through recreation and physical activity with a variety of programs, including group fitness classes, strength training and conditioning opportunities, intramural sports, sport clubs, aquatic activities and spaces for general open recreation. 

UREC is also responsible for multiple on-campus facilities, including the five-story University Recreation Center, Belk Gymnasium, Northeast Recreational Field Complex, Hayes Field Complex and the outdoor calisthenic workout area known as C.O.R.E.

“I am excited to join an exceptional UREC team and work with colleagues across student affairs and campus to ensure all members of the UNC Charlotte community have an opportunity to be physically active, learn and develop skills that will keep them healthy throughout and beyond their time at Charlotte,” Mellinger said.

Mellinger has been Elon’s campus recreation director since 2015. In his time with the university, Mellinger co-chaired the Student Wellness and Well-Being work group, was a facilitator for the inaugural Mid-Level Professionals Institute and also served on the HealthEU Council. He also led the integration of Campus Recreation with the Health Promotion unit, which became Campus Recreation and Wellness.

"Larry quickly rose to the top of the applicant list and easily confirmed our decision that he should shepherd the new era of ‘gold standard’ at UNC Charlotte University Recreation,” Chris Smith, associate vice chancellor for student affairs with health and wellbeing, said. “Larry brings a wealth of campus recreation experience, a track record of integrated college health leadership and an established presence in national organizations such as the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). I am most excited about Larry's commitment to build bridges of partnership across the Health and Wellbeing unit, Student Affairs division and the entire campus community."

Mellinger received a bachelor in recreation management and a master in counseling and higher education from Ohio University. He is currently pursuing a doctor of education in educational leadership from Georgia Southern University. 

With more than 20 years in the field, Mellinger has held positions in collegiate recreation at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Towson University, the University of Vermont and the University of Wisconsin – Stout. He has been a member of NIRSA since 1999 and has held a variety of leadership roles in the association, including the Legislative Affairs Committee, Concussion Advisory Taskforce, chair of the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation, advisory task force member and exam item writer for the Certification for Student Affairs Educators Recreation Specialty Exam, and president of the NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors.