Athletics News

Chelsea Z. Burkart
Chelsea Z. Burkart

Director of Sports Nutrition

Fighting Illini Sports Nutrition is headed by Chelsea Burkart, who is in her third year at Illinois and her fifth year working in college athletics. The Moscow, Idaho, native served as the coordinator of sports nutrition at the University of Florida before joining the Illini staff prior to the 2012-13 athletic season. During her time at Illinois, the Fighting Illini have added a second full-time sports dietitian, as well as a Sports Nutrition Assistant, and launched the Illini Fuel initiative to help all Fighting Illini athletes meet their fueling and recovery needs.

Illinois Expands Meals, Fueling Stations to All Varsity Sports

Burkart received her first bachelor's degree in exercise science in 2006 while playing Division II soccer at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo. From there, she moved on to the University of Wyoming, where she completed her dietetics B.S. in 2009. Burkart then moved to Houston, Texas, to complete her dietetic internship through the University of Houston, where she also consulted with the Cougar Track and Field team before graduating in 2010.

She then relocated to Gainesville, Fla., to pursue a sports nutrition internship at the University of Florida while completing her M.S. in clinical exercise physiology. Burkart was promoted to coordinator of sports nutrition and continued to complete her degree through its conclusion in August 2012. While at Florida, she served as one of two head sports dietitians for football as well as the primary sports dietitian for volleyball, baseball, gymnastics, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field and lacrosse.

Burkart is a registered dietitian, board certified specialist in sports dietetics, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitian Association.

Burkart resides in Champaign and is married to James Madison University's strength coach, Aaron Burkart. They own a dog named Alli.

Updated September 2014

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