Only Division III program with two full-time strength coaches
PELLA—Jake Anderson, Central College’s strength and conditioning coordinator, has been named the NCAA Division III Samson Equipment Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by American Football Monthly.
The magazine announced the award Friday. Winners were also named in the NFL, other college divisions and high school. They’ll be cited in the magazine’s upcoming March issue. Selections were made by the Samson Equipment staff. This is the fifth year that the company has presented the awards through American Football Monthly.
An Atlantic, Iowa, native, Anderson is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He is in his fifth year on the Dutch staff. He develops and leads sport-specific training programs for each of Central’s 19 intercollegiate sports.
In addition to his work with Central athletes, Anderson developed an internship program for students interested in the field. Since 2003, 18of his former student assistant coaches and interns have received professional certification.
Anderson received a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports medicine at Iowa State University. He earned a master's degree in higher education at the University of Iowa.
Anderson was a graduate assistant at Iowa, helping implement the athletics department's strength and conditioning programs and assisting in speed, agility and conditioning training. He worked closely with Hawkeye football strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.
At Iowa State, Anderson was a student assistant strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports. He implemented workouts for all Olympic sports teams and was the primary assistant for men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, baseball, volleyball and diving.
Football coach Jeff McMartin, who has guided the Dutch to three consecutive Iowa Conference championships and three straight NCAA Division III playoff berths, said Anderson is a big reason for Central’s title runs.
“Jake is our X factor,” McMartin said. “He does a great deal for our players and our program. Not only does he help them in strength and conditioning, he instills the kind of work ethic that we want in our football program. Jake helps the players grow together as a team in the off-season and he helps them develop their leadership skills. It’s fun watching him work with the players and seeing how they develop. He’s a great asset to our program.”
Noting that he is training student-athletes rather than power-lifters or body-builders, Anderson and his staff perform a biomechanical analysis on each student-athlete before designing a training program. Anderson also performs a nutritional analysis and provides nutritional counseling.
Anderson is a player favorite. Guy Dierikx, a senior defensive back who competed for the Division III all-star squad in the Aztec Bowl and also an all-America honoree in track and field, called Anderson a difference-maker.
“Jake brings that extra dimension that allows us to compete not only at the top of the conference but at the national level,” Dierikx said. “His experience of working with so many other great strength and conditioning coaches gives him a great knowledge base so that his instruction allows the athletes to excel.
“His enthusiasm is definitely contagious in the weight room. His entire staff carries that emotion that makes you want to compete.”
Senior running back Vance Schuring, a two-time Iowa Conference MVP, said Anderson’s attitude and work ethic are integral to his success.
“He’s an exceptional guy, both in the weight room and as a person,” Schuring said. “You see that not only in his love for the athletes but his love for the work he does with the hours he puts in during the season, in the off-season and even in summer workouts.
“With how happy he always is, it makes him easy to be around. He has such a positive attitude that you know he’s giving you everything he has and he expects the same from you.
“Central is lucky to have somebody like him.”