Volume 97 Issue 7 Sports

Coach Doug Smith challenges sports teams to improve

by Dallas Huff

With some athletic teams in the heart of their season and some just starting, many others are participating in their off season workouts. These workouts are run by Coach Doug Smith, the strength and conditioning coach at Juniata.

Smith has been a full-time strength and conditioning coach at Juniata since 1997. Smith is highly qualified, having certifications from the NSCA, USA Weightlifting Federation, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and American Red Cross.  

Coach Smith designs workouts for each individual sport, along with workouts designed for specific positions. “We are here to help athletes reach their maximum potential,” said Smith. “We also aim to reduce the risk of injury for athletes.” Each team has a specific workout program, created by Smith, to follow in their offseason. Although many have the same core, they are individualized for maximum potential in each sport for all positions.

The offseason workouts are designed to keep athletes in top condition for their given sport. Coach Smith emphasizes the importance of having workouts that are individual-specific. “Every athlete is different. You also have to think about the athletes that are injured and can’t participate in the regular workouts,” said Smith. This is important for the variations in each sport, as well as in every individual athlete participating.

Smith emphasizes the significance of the entire athletic department working together to achieve success. From the athletic director, coaches, equipment manager, to athletic trainers and athletes, Smith believes that everybody helps to create the best programs possible.

“It’s even better this year because of the generosity of the Andersons and the Brumbaughs helping to fund the upgrades to the facilities,” said Smith. The larger space in the gym has allowed for more people to use the facility at the same time, as well as have sports teams working out and still having extra space.

The number of athletes that are on each team can set limitations for the workouts. The football team, for example, must workout in two separate groups at 6 A.M. and 7 A.M because of the large number of athletes. “The workouts are broken into two different time groups, as well as by position in each group,” said junior football player, Ian O’Shea.

Although Coach Smith’s workouts can be tiring and painful at times, the overall feedback from the athletes has been positive. One of the things that athletes are most impressed by is the innovative workouts that Smith designs. “Coach Smith could hand you two bricks and give you the best work out of your life,” said O’Shea. “It’s really impressive how he can do the stuff that he does.”

Coach Smith enjoys many things about Juniata athletics. One thing in particular that he discussed was the sense of community among the teams. “It really helps that all of the athletes get along,” said Smith. “From basketball to football to volleyball, you name it—they get along well.”

“Overall, the workouts this year have been going great,” said Smith. “The teams have all been doing fantastic.” The teams are up in numbers and participation levels according to Smith. “Everyone does a great job from the coaches, the trainers, and the athletes,” he said.

Coach Smith’s assistant, Sarah Simeone ‘15, now helps Coach Smith with the workouts.  Simeone assists with giving advice to the athletes during workouts, as well as conducting portions of the workout that Coach Smith has designed.

Coach Smith also hosts clinics for people such as strength and conditioning coaches, physical therapists, athletic trainers, coaches, athletes and many more. These clinics bring in a multitude of people that include professional and top collegiate programs, as well as high school athletic programs.

Aside from conducting the individual and team workouts, Coach Smith is also responsible for the daily operations at the Brumbaugh Strength and Fitness Center.

“It’s incredible what he does for all of the teams on campus,” said junior volleyball player Kelly Reynolds. “He puts in so much time and effort to make sure all athletes are healthy and in the best shape possible. We definitely appreciate all that he does.” The women’s volleyball team is in the heart of their offseason, and they meet with Smith multiple times throughout the week.

Coach Smith was honored with the National Strength and Conditioning Association Coach of the Year Award in 2015. This award represents all levels of NCAA athletics in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA. “I was very fortunate,” Smith said. Smith was also recognized at the annual Coaches Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

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