Our History

Company Information History

Our vision is to be the BEST sports + outdoors retailer in the country.

Our mission is to provide FUN FOR ALL through strong assortments, value, and experience.

Our company values are:

  • CUSTOMER focus and service
  • EXCELLENCE in all we do
  • Responsible LEADERSHIP
  • INITIATIVE with urgency
  • STUDENTS of the business
  • INTEGRITY always
  • Positive impact on our COMMUNITIES

Academy is a leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer in the United States. Originally founded in 1938 as a family business in Texas, Academy has grown to 285 stores across 19 states. Academy's mission is to provide "Fun for All" and Academy fulfills this mission with a localized merchandising strategy and value proposition that strongly connects with a broad range of consumers. Academy's product assortment focuses on key categories of outdoor, apparel, sports & recreation and footwear through both leading national brands and a portfolio of private label brands. For more information, visit Academy.com

Our history is one we take pride in — it has made us who we are today. The first Academy store opened as a tire shop in San Antonio in 1938. It turned into a military surplus store, then began offering sports and outdoors equipment as it evolved into the Academy Sports + Outdoors we know today. Presently, we operate 285 stores in 19 states, supported by more than 22,000 Team Members throughout the South, Southeast, and Midwest.

Company Timeline

1938 - Academy Sports + Outdoors traces its roots to 1938 when founder Max Gochman opened the Academy Tire Shop in San Antonio, Texas.
1939 - Academy Tire Shop begins selling military surplus.
1945 - Max changes store name to "Academy Super Surplus".
1956 - Max moves his business to Austin, Texas, and expands to four stores.
1973 - Max's son Arthur Gochman purchases Southern Surplus Sales in Houston and changes its name to "Academy Corp." Arthur opens six Academy Super Surplus stores in Houston.
1978 - Arthur stops practicing law, devotes his time to Academy, and moves the corporate office to Houston.
1980 - Academy introduces sports and outdoor items including fishing, camping, and sporting goods to its product assortment.
1981 - Academy moves into new offices and a 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse.
1983 - Academy runs its first multi-page newspaper advertisement during the holiday.
1984 - Athletic brands are added to the Academy product assortment.
1988 - Academy opens its first "big box" stores of 35,000-40,000 sq. ft.
1990 - Academy purchases its current corporate office and distribution center at 1800 N. Mason Road in Katy, Texas. The company grows to 28 stores across Texas.
1991 - Academy exits the military surplus business. Sales reach $100 million.
1994 - Academy expands beyond Texas to Edmond, Oklahoma, and Lafayette, Louisiana.
1995 - Company changes its name to "Academy Sports + Outdoors".
1996 - David Gochman, Arthur’s son and Max’s grandson, becomes president and CEO. Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Alabama location.
1998 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Florida location. Sales reach $500 million.
1999 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Tennessee and Mississippi store locations.
2000 - 50th store location in Temple, TX opens.
2003 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Arkansas location. Sales reach $1 billion.
2005 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Missouri and Georgia locations.
2006 - Academy Sports + Outdoors employs over 10,000 team members across the Southeast. The company opens its first 100,000 sq. ft. store.
2007 - Rodney Faldyn is named as President. Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first South Carolina location. Sales reach $2 billion.
2009 - Academy Sports + Outdoors adds a second distribution facility in Twiggs County, GA.
2011 - Academy Sports + Outdoors is acquired by an investment fund and other entities affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., (together with its affiliates, "KKR"), a leading global investment firm. Rodney Faldyn is named CEO & President. Academy.com launches as an eCommerce retail site.
2012 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first North Carolina and Kansas locations. Sales reach $3 billion.
2014 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Indiana and Kentucky locations. Sales reach $4 billion.
2015 - J.K. Symancyk is named as CEO & President. Academy Sports + Outdoors opens the 200th store location in Tupelo, MS.
2016 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Illinois location and adds its third distribution facility in Cookeville, TN.
2018 - Ken C. Hicks is named as Chairman, President, and CEO. Academy Sports + Outdoors opens 250th store location in Mansfield, TX.
2020 - In October, Academy completed its Initial Public Offering, and is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market exchange under the ticker symbol "ASO."
2021 - Academy becomes an independent company.
2022 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Virginia and West Virginia locations.
2023 - Steven P. Lawrence is named as CEO, and Samuel J. Johnson is named as President. Ken C. Hicks is named as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
2024 - Academy Sports + Outdoors opens its first Ohio location.
Today - Academy Sports + Outdoors operates 285 stores in 19 states with more than 22,000 Team Members throughout the South, Southeast, and Midwest.
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