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Meet the Professor: Dr. B. David Ridpath

Monday, January 30 2017 12:00am

Dr. B. David Ridpath encourages open discussion and challenges students to push past the norms of the sport industry.

By: Magda Stepien

When I was walking up to Ridpath’s office, I started to hear what sounded like a one-sided conversation.  Luckily, he wasn’t talking to himself, and I realized he was talking to a reporter on the phone. Ridpath has served as a sport industry expert for various news outlets and institutions.  On this particular day,  he was talking to a reporter about breaking news in the sport industry. This impressive interaction is a great example of the expertise Ridpath brings to his classroom. 

Ridpath has taught both graduate and undergraduate students at Ohio University. This semester, Ridpath teaches three undergraduate courses ranging in topics from sports governance to intercollegiate athletics.  

Ridpath’s teaching style focuses heavily the value of reading and writing throughout his courses, even when his students might not prefer it. Along with supplemental readings, he focuses on discussions about current events and inviting guest speakers to share their experience as professionals in the industry. 

“You have to keep [the students] interested during class,” said Ridpath. “I want to hear their opinions and let them ask the hard questions, not just reinforce the status quo.”

Ridpath understands that it can be difficult to grab the attention of students, but being involved in a highly active program, such as those in the Department of Sports Administration at the College of Business, adds to the excitement. Students are exposed to countless opportunities to network with alumni and experienced faculty. He reminds his students that they are constantly meeting people that can influence their future and to take advantage of those opportunities.

 Although, the greatest moment for him is when he sees his teachings in practice.

“I love to see the students grow as they enter their careers and apply what I taught them to their lives,” said Ridpath. “Knowing that I’ve helped gives me more motivation to keep sharing my knowledge.”

 Ridpath truly exemplifies the power of applying practical experience in an academic setting. His passion for teaching and enabling his students to think outside of the box paves the way for future sport management leaders to change the industry. 


- Potpourri –

 Five pressing questions for Dr. Ridpath:

 Do you have a favorite place to eat in Athens or on campus? 

 “My favorite is a student hub… Chipotle. It was started in Denver [city that Ridpath formerly worked] so I have a strong connection to the brand and just love the food. I even ended up finding one in London!”

 Do you have a favorite spot on Ohio University’s campus?

 “Being out on College Green is my favorite.  It is fun for me to sit and see all the students.  It is exactly what comes to mind when you think about a college campus.” 

 Which season do you like best in Athens? 

“There is no comparison to fall in Athens.  The leaves are changing and you can feel the energy of a new school year.  It’s also great to start the football season with the nice weather and little humidity!”

 What events have you enjoyed in Athens?

 “I enjoy going to the sporting events.  I like to support the students and would love to go to every game, but I can’t, so I go to as many as I can.  One thing I think is underrated is the theatre here. Productions at this University are phenomenal.”

What have you liked most about working with students and faculty at Ohio University’s College of Business?

 “I am constantly in awe of the level of accomplishment among the students and staff. Our faculty has tremendous teaching and research capabilities, which they work so hard for. They constantly drive me to do better work. Being a part of the College of Business allows for great collaboration which greatly benefits our students.”