A former Purdue athlete has returned to campus to earn his doctorate degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

After graduating from Purdue, Travis Dorsch was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He bounced around between the NFL and NFL Europe before coming back to Purdue to focus on the interactions between parents and children in youth sports.

Dorsch, a former All-American punter for the Boilermakers, is the school’s leader in career field goals, consecutive PATs, and points.

“When he came in, I think he kicked an offensive lineman in the back with the ball,” former Purdue head coach Joe Tiller, who coached Dorsch, said. “With his height and leverage, we thought he had the opportunity to be really good. Then, he got better and better. He just continued to improve with his work ethic.”

After being recruited as solely a kicker, Dorsch went on to win the Ray Guy Award presented annually to the top punter in college football.

Tiller said Dorsch’s ability to become such an outstanding punter says a lot about his versatility.

“Travis is a really good athlete,” Tiller said. “He started punting in his sophomore year and he caught on quickly.”

Dorsch was heckled and viewed as the source of blame after he missed a 43-yard field goal in Purdue’s 2000 Outback Bowl overtime loss to Georgia.

“Emotionally it hurt, but competitively it fired me up,” Dorsch said. “That is the nature of being an athlete. People may doubt you, but you just need to go out there every day and prove them wrong.”

Dorsch bounced back from the loss to Georgia to achieve All-American honors his senior season. He booted the game winning 33-yard field goal to defeat No. 6 Michigan, to give Purdue its first victory over the Wolverines since 1996.

“I really had a tough go at it my junior year,” Dorsch said. “To bounce back and have a solid, All-American senior season was kind of a redemption to be honest.”