In today’s world of rapidly evolving techniques for training athletes, one of the must haves for colleges across the country is a strength and conditioning coach. For many years, Ursinus College was without this key asset for improving athletic programs, but now athletic director Laura Mo- liken has put two men in coooooooharge of overseeing all athletic training on campus. Eric Hoffman and Michael Moronese are the new strength and conditioning coaches at Ursinus, and they help train multiple different sports teams on campus.
Moronese is very busy on cam- pus. Along with being a full-time strength and conditioning coach for a number of different sports teams, Coach Mike can be found out on the football field with the defensive line, and in the class- room where he teaches a four credit class called conditioning (HEP 220). His time management skills may have been developed when he was playing defensive end for the class of 2015 Ursinus Bears, for which he was a team captain and a leader on campus.
“He always led by example on the field and off when we played together” said 2016 graduate Sal Bello. “He’s just one of those guys with a non-stop motor and I think that’s why he will end up being really successful in his life.” Bello went on to add that if anyone could handle having three different job titles at the same college, it would be him. We sat down with Coach Mike to talk about what it takes to juggle all the different roles he plays on campus.
Garlick: What time do you get to work in the morning on a normal day usually?
Moronese: I usually get in here around 5:30-6:00 and I like to get a workout in before I train the first group of the day at 6:30.
Garlick: Once you are on campus, about how much of your day is spent on strength training, on coaching football, and on teaching your course?
Moronese: I basically am bouncing back and forth all day. I start the day as a strength and conditioning coach for a couple differ- ent teams like football, swimming, baseball, and gymnastics. Then when it’s time to teach I have to tone it down a little bit, because I like to be loud, and try and get my students to understand the material that I find so interesting. Then I go out and coach football for the night which I love to do and is a passion of mine.
Garlick: How is it possible to juggle these three roles? Do you find yourself being consumed by one or two of them?
“All of my titles are interconnected. I believe that each one helps me be better at the other.” – Mike Moronese ‘15 Health and Exercise Physiology Lecturer
Moronese: It most certainly isn’t easy having to balance the responsibility of multiple positions at Ursinus. However, all of my titles are interconnected. I believe that each one helps me be better at the other. By being able to strength train, I have also learned to periodize, progress and cater to various needs of my position groups during the football season. I’ve also been able to help more players on the team. Teaching has allowed me to re-touch base on many concepts that I need for grad school and the way I communicate has been able to improve due to having to adopt a more traditional teaching model, rather than just using cues like I would in the fitness center.
Garlick: Which of the three, if any, do you enjoy the most?
Moronese: Between teach- ing, coaching football, coaching strength/condo, working as an Equipment assistant and Administrative Assistant, it’s hard to pick a “favorite.” Each one teaches something different and allows me to learn more about the department, as well as various life lessons. However, I would say I enjoy Coaching Strength/Condo the most. Every opportunity to help over 500+ student athletes is a big one, but it’s also very enjoyable.
Garlick: What advice would you give to students looking to go into a strength and conditioning career?
Moronese: My biggest advice to any students looking to follow a similar path would be: don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable in your eternal pursuit of growth. This profession involves a lot of communication with people you may not know so well, asking questions that may seem silly, and embracing some less than ideal situations (whether it be financial, or facilitative). The more comfortable you are in uncomfortable situations, the better you can convey your passion to help others, as well as your ability to think/perform.
With the amount of responsibility that one man has for preparing multiple sports teams to perform at the highest level, educate college level students in a four-credit.