In 1989, the name of the Department of Physical Education was changed to the Department of Exercise and Sport Science. Shirl J. Hoffman, who had been serving as the department head for physical education, continued as head of the renamed department.
In 2009, the name of the department was changed to the Department of Kinesiology. The change was made to reflect a broader view of the field and better align with like programs at other universities.
- Shirl J. Hoffman (1989-1995)
- Diane L. Gill (1996-2000)
- Kathleen Williams (2000-2007)
- Joseph Starnes (2007-2009, continuing as head of the Department of Kinesiology)