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Faculty and Staff Profile

Phil Gaines

Professor of Practice

Phone: 803-608-4179

 Educational Background

BS Recreation and Park Administration
Clemson University 1981


Phil Gaines is a Professor of Practice in the PRTM Department at Clemson University. A Professor of Practice denotes and recognizes the over 35 years of experience in the field of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, and Public Lands Leadership. Phil has served as the Director of South Carolina State Parks for more than 12 years. Continuing education and leadership has played an important role in his professional career. He was instrumental in the development of America’s State Park Leadership School a two year school focused on leadership and the develop core competencies for effective state park management in Wheeling, West Virginia. Phil has served as the Chairman of the Board of Regents at the School and is currently an instructor at the school. Mr. Gaines is a frequent presenter at various State and National Conferences in the US and Canada where he focuses on leadership, and innovative approaches to park management. Phil has served on the Board of the National Association of State Park Directors, The National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers. He has also served his alma mater on various Boards and committees over the years, most recently as a member of the External Advisory Board for the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, and a board member of the Institute for Parks. Phil enjoys the outdoors, hiking and photography.

 Honors and Awards

Walter Cox Award for Public Service and Leadership in Natural Resources, from Clemson University in 2013 and in 2015, received the Distinguished Service Award for national leadership for America’s State Parks, from the National Association of State Park Directors.