Department: Dining Services

Bio: Charles Ashford joined the Mean Green in June 2017 as the athletic department's first full-time sports nutritionist. Ashford oversees the sports nutrition department whilst working primarily with football and softball. Before joining UNT, Ashford was the assistant sports nutritionist at Texas Tech University, where he worked primarily with football and soccer for three years following a move from London, England. Ashford completed his undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science at Brunel University, London. He also holds a masters degree and a post-graduate diploma in sports nutrition. Ashford is a registered sports nutritionist through the British Dietetic Association. In addition, he is a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a certified exercise physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine. Charles is currently working towards his PhD conducting novel research using sports nutrition interventions in collegiate American football athletes through the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom.

What does your role entail/what do you do: As a department, my staff and I handle the nutrition needs of all of our student athletes. Ultimately, we work with our student athletes to reach their performance targets and achieve optimal health through the identification of appropriate sports-specific goals. I aim to do this through developing individualized dietary strategies to help meet these goals by manipulating and periodizing fluid and nutrient intakes.

What is your favorite part about working at UNT: The opportunity to make a positive upon the student athlete experience in my daily interactions and helping individuals establish positive long term habits which will help them far beyond their time as a collegiate athlete.

How have UNT students impacted your life? There are many student athletes who I still keep contact with despite them moving on to their adult life's away from college sport. The relationships you are able to build over their time on campus is something that makes the work very fulfilling. Seeing those individuals establish their own careers, get married, have children etc. is really neat. For example, one student athlete's parents sent me a Christmas gift this year for working closely with their son. Small reminder like that are very humbling to me and a good reminder to bring my A game every time I step foot in the office.

Fun fact about you: I initially wanted to be a soccer coach and physical education teacher when I first started out in college. I think a desire to be involved in sport and help others has always been at the core of what I wanted from a career.

What's an identity you're proud to share with others at UNT? Husband and dad dog.

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