Only Division III program with two full-time strength coaches
PELLA—Central College is expanding its highly regarded strength and conditioning program with the addition of Kyle Johnson as assistant director.
Johnson served the past two years as assistant sports performance director at Velocity Sports Performance in Franklin, Tenn. He graduated with honors from Central in 2002 and earned a master’s degree in health and human performance from Iowa State University in 2004. Johnson worked as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Iowa State football squad and later was a personal trainer and fitness coach at Delta City Club in Nashville, Tenn.
While at Central, Johnson was a member of the Dutch football squad, receiving academic all-Iowa Conference honors. He trained under former Central strength and conditioning coach Steve Lewis, who is now at Emory University (Ga.).
Johnson remains a competitive weightlifter as well, winning Olympic lifting titles in the 105-kilogram class at the Georgia Games, the Chattanooga Open and the Southeastern Regional meet in 2005 and the Emory Open in 2007. He was 11th in the 2007 American Open.
Central was among the first NCAA Division III institutions to hire a full-time strength and conditioning coach, when Lewis was hired in 1999. With the addition of Johnson’s position, Central continues to be a national leader, according to Jake Anderson, strength and conditioning coach and director of the Ron Schipper Fitness Center.
Anderson, who was named the NCAA Division III strength coach of the year for 2008 by American Football Coaching Monthly, noted that the position demonstrates Central’s commitment to its academic program as well as athletics. The college’s popular exercise science department is adding strength and conditioning as one of its four program areas for an academic major. Having Johnson on staff will allow Anderson to devote part of his time to classroom instruction. Over the past five years, more than 30 of Central’s strength and conditioning interns have landed full-time positions in the field.
“This is a way to help serve not only our student-athletes but also our academic program,” Anderson said. “We want to serve students and further develop an internship program that continues to thrive, and really, is exploding with interest.”
Johnson is a valuable addition.
“He’s from a different background and has some unique ideas as well as a passion to serve our students,” Anderson said. “He wants to continue to grow and learn. Kyle also has a little different coaching style than I do, so by working together, we hope to reach more kids.
“There’s a high demand for what we do. We hope to provide our students with a more thorough service and be a better resource.”