Linda Keeler, CC-AASP
Department of Physical Education, Health, and Recreation
Center for Performance Excellence
Western Washington University
Dr. Linda Keeler is the Director of the Center for Performance
Excellence and an Assistant Professor in the Physical Education, Health and
Recreation Department at Western Washington University specializing in
sport and exercise psychology. Dr. Keeler is one of approximately 400+
professionals to have achieved Certified Consultant status with the
Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is listed on the U.S. Olympic
Committee Sport Psychology Registry and is a member of the American
She has consulted with national, college and high school
athletic teams along with individual athletes across multiple sports in
areas such as performance psychology, team building, recovery
from injury, burnout/overtraining, and exercise adherence.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology at
Colgate University, Dr. Keeler obtained her master’s degree in
Kinesiology with an emphasis in sport psychology from the University of
Maryland at College Park. Her education was completed at West Virginia
University with a doctorate in sport and exercise psychology and a second
master’s degree in community counseling. Dr. Keeler has recently
moved to Bellingham after developing the sport and exercise psychology
program for 5 years at Cal State, Chico. She was a competitive rugby player
for twelve years and attended National team events, select-side
competitions, and was a member of a nationally ranked club team.
Sport Psychology Graduate Students
Brook obtained her Bachelor’s
degree from Brigham Young University in Physical Education: Fitness and
Wellness Management. She then worked for two years at The Orthopedic Specialty
Hospital (TOSH) in SLC, training athletes in proper running mechanics and
power/speed enhancement. She obtained her first Master’s degree from
Springfield College in Exercise Science and Sport Studies: Strength and
Conditioning. After teaching at the College of Southern Idaho in the
Physical Education department for three years, she decided to go back to
school for her second Master’s degree in Sport Psychology. She has
taught a wide range of both fitness and academic classes, and has also
served as a personal trainer. She is thrilled to be combining the two sides
of training essential for excellent performance, that is, both physical and
mental conditioning. She played volleyball, basketball, and golf in high
school, and continues to enjoy running, lifting, swimming, biking, golfing,
hiking, and playing racquetball.
Alex grew up in Spokane, WA, and participated in
skiing, volleyball, and tennis throughout her adolescence and high school
career. She attended the University of Idaho, where she was on the downhill
ski club her freshman year, and then finished her time with the Vandals in
the Athletic Training Program. While at the University of Idaho, she worked
with men’s and women’s basketball, track, and tennis, as well
as women’s soccer and football. She traveled and worked with the U of
I football team in 2009-2010, where they won the Humanitarian Bowl at the
end of their season.
After graduating with a B.S. in Athletic Training in
2010, Alex became the head athletic trainer for Mountain View High School
in Meridian, Idaho, until spring of 2013. She worked with all levels of
football, soccer, XC, volleyball, wrestling, basketball, softball,
baseball, tennis, and track and field while at MVHS. She is currently
working towards her Master’s in Sport Psychology at WWU. When she
graduates she is hoping to work with Wounded Warriors.
was born and raised in Corona, CA. She is an avid swimmer who pursued her
collegiate swimming career at Delta State University, in Cleveland
Mississippi. While there, she obtained her undergraduate degree in Exercise
Science with a minor in Psychology. Outside of the classroom, she was a
distance swimmer on the Delta State’s Swim & Dive team for all
four years. During her final year, she was captain of the women’s
team that went on to become Gulf-South Conference 2013 champions. She
retired from swimming after completing her collegiate career. She is now
here at Western pursuing her Master’s degree in Sport Psychology.
Piper’s future plans include becoming a certified consultant through
AASP, and working with USA Swimming.
grew up in Gig Harbor, WA, and completed his undergraduate degree at WWU.
His love of sport was developed playing baseball full-time, until an injury
during his senior year of high school ended his career. His interest Sport
Psychology started as an undergraduate when he began studying the benefits
of mental skills for athletes. He is now a graduate student in the Sport
Psychology program at WWU, and plans to get his AASP certification to
become a sport psychology consultant and help athletes improve their
performance. His research interests include mental characteristics of elite
athletes, how psychology can help build these characteristics, how athletes
can use mental skills to enhance performance, and the benefits of CrossFit.
Dr. Ralph Vernacchia
for Performance Excellence
Dr. Vernacchia, founder and previous
director of the CPE, was a professor in the department of Physical
Education, Health and Recreation at WWU for nearly 40 years, where he
directed undergraduate and graduate courses in sport psychology. He is a
co-author/editor of two sport psychology books and has presented
extensively on a variety of sport psychology topics throughout the nation.
He has served as a performance consultant to coaches, parents, and numerous
athletes on the youth sport, high school, university, professional and Olympic
levels. He has also traveled internationally with USA track and field teams
to several world championships.