Our Staff

Contact Us

Area Phone Number Email Address
Fitness and Recreation Center (406) 243-2802


Fitness Programs (406) 243-2833


Intramural Sports (406) 243-5295


Outdoor Program (406) 243-5172


Grizzly Pool (406) 243-2763


University Golf Course (406) 728-8629


Youth Camps (406) 243-5295


Campus Recreation Administration

phone: (406) 243-2806
fax: (406) 243-6482


Meet the Campus Recreation Staff

Chris Anderson:  General Manager, University Golf CourseChris Anderson

(406) 728-8629, canderson@mso.umt.edu

Chris oversees the entire golf course operation, including the playability and maintenance of the course and the management of the pro shop and its merchandise.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why:  Chris enjoys playing nine holes of golf at The U of M Golf Course because the wildlife, and the scenery are second to none.  He says climbing the M and overlooking campus and Missoula is a close second!

Andi Armstrong:  Assistant Director of Operations and Marketing Andi Armstrong

(406) 243-2806, andrea.armstrong@umontana.edu

Andi manages Campus Recreation's websites, mobile app and social media prescence and promotes departmental programming and events. She also oversees administrative operations, including four points of sale, and serves as the primary liaison with Student Affairs IT and Central IT.

In her years as an employee at the University of Montana, Andi has been active on Staff Senate and numerous University committees.  A UM graduate, she holds a B.A. in English and M. A. in English literature from the University of Montana. Her certifications include Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED and Pink Gloves Boxing Semi-Pro Trainer, and she is a current NIRSA member.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why:  Cutting right through the heart of Missoula, the Kim Williams Trail is a favorite recreation spot of Andi's.  She feels that there’s no better way to start a work day during the summer than a morning bike ride to campus along the Clark Fork River.  She works out nearly every weekday at Campus Rec and loves to play racquetball, hike and cross-country ski.

Eric Aschim:  Assistant Director, FacilitiesEric Aschim

(406) 243-4078, eric.aschim@mso.umt.edu

Eric mentors our student staff to ensure a welcoming, clean and safe environment at the Fitness & Recreation Center. Eric is also a Certified Pool Operator (CPO).

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why: Eric likes fly fishing at Rock Creek because of the big bugs and big fish! He can also be seen in the courts at Campus Rec playing handball.

Tom Burt:  Course Superintendent, University Golf CourseTom Burt

(406) 728-8629, tom.burt@mso.umt.edu

Tom meticulously maintains the University Golf Course, South Campus recreational fields, Dornblaser Track Field, and Grizzly Soccer Field so that students and other users have a top-quality experience.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why:  Tom plays the University of Montana Golf Course and Canyon River golf courses because of the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Elizabeth Fricke:  Senior Assistant Director, Outdoor ProgramElizabeth Fricke

(406) 243-5176, elizabeth.fricke@mso.umt.edu

Elizabeth coordinates outdoor classes and trips and the climbing wall. She also collaborates with academic departments on campus to offer outdoor education classes for credit. Partnering with the U.S. Forest Service and Fish Wildlife and Parks, she works to utilize land and rivers throughout Montana. Elizabeth also partners with the Missoula Avalanche Foundation to provide avalanche education classes. 

Elizabeth received a B.S. in Recreation Management from Appalachian State University and M.S. in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana. 

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why: Elizabeth's places depend on the season. Summer – on a river; either the Alberton Gorge or the Blackfoot river with her family. Fall – rock climbing at Lost Horse or Kootenai Canyon. Winter – skiing.  Spring – the Lochsa! All seasons – on her yoga mat, playing with her two daughters and husband and walking with her dog on Mt. Sentinel!

Brian Fruit:  Associate Director, FacilitiesBrian Fruit

(406) 243-6157, bfruit@mso.umt.edu

Brian directs all aspects of Campus Recreation's facilities including the state of the art Fitness & Recreation Center, Grizzly Pool, and outdoor fields on Riverbowl and South Campus.  He leads a professional and student staff to provide excellent customer service in a clean and friendly environment.  Brian is a current member of NIRSA.  

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why: Brian says the Campus Recreation facilities have been a staple in his exercise regimen for many years. He enjoys running on the various trails and endless roads in and around Missoula, especially Mount Sentinel, which he says has a certain allure and therapeutic quality that he finds unique.

Jefferson Heath:  Coordinator, Facilities and Outdoor ProgramsJefferson Heath

(406) 243-6846, jefferson.heath@mso.umt.edu

Jeff is responsible for running the Outdoor Program equipment rentals, the annual outdoor gear sale and other special events.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why:  Jeff enjoys the University Golf Course, Snowbowl and anywhere on the river.

Natalie Hiller-Claridge:  Senior Assistant Director, Programs and Development

Natalie Hiller-Claridge

(406) 243-5295, natalie.hiller@mso.umt.edu

Natalie is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Intramural Sports and Youth Camps programs. She mentors a student staff of 35-40 employees and one classified staff member. She managed the Outdoor Program Rental operation and special events from 2006 to 2013 but changed roles and is now responsible for creative development of programs for the Campus Recreation Department.

Natalie has been involved on campus with Staff Senate, Diversity Advisory Council and the Outstanding Staff Awards Committee. She received a B.S. in Recreation Management, B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. of Public Administration all from the University of Montana. Natalie is an active member of NIRSA and was the NIRSA Montana State Director in 2014.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why:  Natalie enjoys hiking at Blue Mountain because it is dog-friendly, leash-free and where her two dogs can run free.  During the winter her favorite place is Lolo Pass for some extreme snowshoeing.  If she's on her mountain bike, she loves the Rattlesnake Recreation Area, though she feels she could recreate anywhere as long as she's with her family.

Tonya Kiser:  Senior Assistant Director, Aquatics and SafetyTonya Kiser

(406) 243-5335, tonya.kiser@mso.umt.edu

Tonya manages all aspects of the Grizzly Pool, including programing, staffing, facility scheduling and staff training.  She also sits on the Campus Risk Management and Safety Committee and is the safety coordinator for Campus Recreation.  Tonya is a current member of NIRSA.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why:  Tonya loves to recreate in many areas in and around Missoula and doesn't know that she has a favorite. She spends more time in the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area than any other because she can get to it quickly from work.

Emily Simpson:   Senior Assistant Director, Fitness Programs 

Emily Simpson

(406) 243-2833, emily.simpson@mso.umt.edu

Emily manages the fitness programs and personal training staff. She collaborates with several agencies on campus to create programs that reach the entire UM community. She is an advocate for all Campus Recreation users and supports each of their unique fitness goals.

Health and wellness are Emily’s passions; she loves empowering people to live a more fulfilling life by growing stronger and making healthy choices. She knows that health encompasses not just physical fitness, but also a myriad of lifestyle factors.

Emily worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor during undergraduate and graduate school. She earned a B.S. in dietetics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and an M.S. in exercise science from the University of Montana.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula: Emily loves the easy access to Pattee Canyon and the Rattlesnake for all types of recreating:  Mountain biking, trail running, hiking and snowshoeing. For proximity to campus, she says you can’t beat Mt. Sentinel. It offers the quintessential view of Missoula and is the perfect place for a mid-week hike or weekend adventure!

Steve Thompson:  Director of Campus RecreationSteve Thompson

(406) 243-5269, stephen.thompson@mso.umt.edu

Steve is responsible for ensuring the professional staff and student workers have what they need to provide the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Montana safe and quality programs and facilities. He provides strategic vision, fiscal oversight, and long range planning to the department as well as continually striving to extend the overall reach and relevance of Campus Recreation. Steve is also responsible for being a husband (to Angie) and a father (to his daughter Kaelin), and making sure that his work life and family life exist in harmony.

Steve is a professional member of NIRSA, and served as a former President, Vice President and board member of AORE, in which he is still actively involved. He received both his bachelor's in communications and his master's in communication theory from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. 

Favorite place in Missoula to recreate, and why:   Steve enjoys hiking with his family and dogs at Blue Mountain, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing at Lolo Pass, fly fishing at Rock Creek, rafting the Blackfoot or the Alberton Gorge, and skiing at any of the many ski areas around town.

Kevin Verlanic:  Business ManagerKevin Verlanic

(406) 243-2823, kevin.verlanic@umontana.edu

Kevin joined the University of Montana in 1980 as the superintendent of the UM Golf Course.  In his current role, he is responsible for serving as the Business Manager of Campus Recreation where he provides financial vision and support for the Grizzly Pool, University Golf Course, and Fitness & Recreation Center. Kevin is also a current member of Missoula City Conservation Lands Committee, Missoula Youth Justice Council, Blue-Eyed Nellie Conservation Group and NIRSA.

Favorite place to recreate in Missoula, and why:  Kevin enjoys Mt. Sentinel because it provides a great workout, wildlife, scenic views and solitude.