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Matthew Ruiz headshot

Matthew Ruiz 

Exercise and Nutrition Science

Director of Exercise and Human Performance Program


Matthew Ruiz joined the Lipscomb faculty in 2015 as an associate professor of kinesiology. Prior to joining Lipscomb, he served as a tenured faculty member, department chair, and 2015 Professor of the Year at Huntington University (Indiana) from 2006-2015. At Lipscomb, he was appointed Director of Graduate Studies in Exercise & Nutrition Science in 2017 and was promoted to the rank of Professor and tenured in 2019. He served as the Presidential Faculty Fellow during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Dr. Ruiz has conducted applied sport and performance psychology consultation since 2001 with coaches, athletes, parents/family of athletes, sport medicine professionals, sport teams, exercise participants & leaders, and business & academic professionals on topics such as anxiety & arousal management, communication, concentration, confidence, conflict management, decision-making skills, goal setting, imagery, leadership, peak performance & flow, performance enhancement, feedback, positive reinforcement, staleness & burnout, psychology of injury/rehabilitation, motivation, relaxation, stress management, team building & cohesion, and teamwork. Ruiz became certified as a performance coach through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in 2021.

His research interests include the relationship between positive psychology and physical activity performance, and the relationship between Christianity and sport. Ruiz has recently presented papers at conferences around the country and internationally, including the Inaugural Global Congress on Sport & Christianity at York St. John University in York, UK on the psychotheology of losing, the American Psychological Association Convention and the Second Global Congress on Sport & Christianity on race, religion, and college sports. His writings have been published in journals such as Current Orthopaedic Practice, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, and the Journal of the Christian Society for Kinesiology, Leisure, & Sport Studies.

Ruiz is an active member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Society for Sport, Exercise, & Performance Psychology (APA Division 47), Association for Applied Sport Psychology, International Coaching Federation, and the Christian Society of Kinesiology, Leisure & Sport Studies (CSKLS), where he served as a board member (2011-2015), president (2015-2017), treasurer (2019-current), and conference host (2017, 2021).

Academic Degrees

M.B.A. (2018) Lipscomb University; Concentration: Leadership

Ph.D. (2008) University of Minnesota; Major: Kinesiology, Emphasis: Sport Psychology

M.S. (2002) Springfield College; Major: Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Emphasis: Sport Psychology

B.S. (1999) Lipscomb University; Majors: Athletic Training, Exercise Science

Academic Department

Department of Kinesiology; College of Health Sciences