The Sports Performance Department embraces the mission of both the Athletic Department and the University. In addition, it is the mission of the Sports Performance staff to enhance each Golden Eagle athlete's athletic ability, while minimizing the risk of injury, in assisting them to achieve peak performance in their respective sport.
Sports Performance Staff
Director of Sports Performance
Brad Ruhanen came to ORU in September 2011 and was promoted to the Director of Sports Performance in March of 2013, joining the Golden Eagles from North Dakota State, where he was a graduate assistant, working with football, men's golf, the men's and women's throwers, wrestling and softball programs.
Before going to NDSU, Ruhanen was the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Michigan Technological University for one year. Ruhanen also has experience as a graduate assistant football coach.
Ruhanen graduated from Michigan Tech with a degree in management information systems after finishing up a four-year playing career as a wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner. He was the team captain and named the most outstanding freshman during the 2002 season.
Ruhanen has reached Level 1 Sports Performance Certification through the USAW and is CPR/AED certified and he’s also a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
Assistant Director of Sports Performance
Tyler Whitmer is in his second season at Oral Roberts University and his first as Assistant Director of Sports Performance. In his role, Whitmer develops and implements training programs for the Golden Eagle volleyball, men’s soccer and baseball teams while assisting in the training regimens of ORU’s 13 remaining intercollegiate athletics teams.
As a member of ORU’s sports performance staff, Whitmer schedules workouts for each student-athlete in the ORU athletic department. He also assists in the design andexecution of ORU’s sports nutrition program, working to educate student-athletes on their optimal nutritional needs.
In his first season at ORU, Whitmer was responsible for the training programs of ORU’s track & field, golf and tennis teams while assisting with basketball and baseball. In the spring semester, Whitmer led the baseball team’s training efforts and directly coached six All-Southland Conference selections, including SLC Relief Pitcher of the Year Jordan Romano.
Prior to joining the ORU staff, Whitmer spent a year and a half as a graduate assistant strength & conditioning coach at Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. Whitmer was directly responsible for the strength & conditioning programs for Mid-America’s men’s basketball and football teams, and he guided all student-athletes in weightlifting and training regimens.
Whitmer also spent the summer of 2011 as a strength & conditioning the University of Denver, ORU’s newest Summit League rival. At Denver, Whitmer assisted with the execution of workouts for the women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and men’s soccer squads.
Whitmer is Strength & Conditioning Coach Certified by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches’ Association, and he’s a Level I Sport Performance Coach through United States of America Weightlifting. He’s also a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association, and he’s First Aid Certified through the American Heart Association.
Whitmer obtained his B.S. in Health & Exercise Science from Colorado State University in 2011. He went on to earn a M.S. in education, with a concentration in physiology, from the University of Kansas is 2013.
A native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Whitmer and his wife, Auston, reside in Tulsa.
ORU Sports Performance Philosophy
Our philosophy is to create a culture and an atmosphere that is conducive to winning and training. Athlete training programs will be designed based on the specific movements and physiological demands of each sport. Strength development, power development, speed, agility, quickness, conditioning, flexibility, injury prevention, and sports nutrition will be emphasized for each athlete in order to maximize their potential. A free weight approach with ground based movements and Olympic lifts will be utilized in the weight room.
Each and every student-athlete that is a part of the sports performance program will be exposed to a hands-on coaching style by the strength and conditioning staff. Just like the athlete is coached by their sport coach out on the field or court, they will be coached in the weight room by a member of the strength and conditioning staff. Our strength and conditioning coaches will be great teachers, great leaders and will demand great effort. We will teach and coach the athlete so that they are educated about why they are performing various movements and exercises.
We will create a culture and an atmosphere that allows our athletes to train at a championship level each and every day. Our culture will be built upon the values of hard work, commitment, pride, passion, mental and physical toughness, leadership and trust. We will respect those values in our approach to training day in and day out. We will realize that everything starts with an attitude and we will build upon that attitude to train at an extremely high level in order to meet and exceed expectations and goals.