Only Division III program with two full-time strength coaches
PELLA —Kyle Johnson has been promoted to head strength and conditioning coach at Central College while Ryder Weischedel, a former graduate assistant at Baylor University, is the new assistant coach.
Johnson, a 2002 Central honors graduate, spent the past three years as assistant strength and conditioning coach. He replaces Jake Anderson, who left June 30 after serving as head coach for eight years to launch a career in international service work.
Central’s strength and conditioning program is considered a Division III leader. The staff includes 25 student assistant coaches and more than 40 former student assistants have received professional certification. Central graduates have strength and conditioning positions at schools across the U.S., including Loras, Simpson, William Penn, Iowa, Nebraska, Pitt, Boise State, Kentucky, Tulsa and Maine. The college is also among a handful nationwide with an academic program in the field. Both Johnson and Weischedel will provide classroom instruction.
“We think we’ve got a great team,” athletics director Al Dorenkamp said. “We’re excited about continuing to move forward with our program.”
Before returning to Central, Johnson spent two years as assistant sports performance director at Velocity Sports Performance in Franklin, Tenn. He received a master’s degree in health and human performance from Iowa State University in 2004. Johnson worked as a graduate assistant strength coach with the Iowa State football squad and later was a personal trainer and fitness coach at Delta City Club in Nashville, Tenn..
A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), Johnson is a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) member. He’s an Elliott, Iowa native and Villisca High School graduate.
“Kyle has certainly been a loyal and dedicated staff member,” Dorenkamp said. “Behind the scenes he’s done a lot of great things for our program. It’s rewarding to elevate him to the head coach position.”
Johnson served as a USA Weightlifting club coach and remains a competitive weightlifter. Last summer he placed 12th in the USA Weightlifting National Championships in the 105-kilogram (231-pound) class. He won Olympic lifting titles at the Georgia Games, the Chattanooga Open and the Southeastern Regional in 2005 and the Emory Open in 2007. He was 11th in the 2007 American Open.
“Central has a very unique progam,” Johnson said. “We’ve definitely come a long way since I was an athlete here. We want to build on the academic component and keep growing that, we want to coach our interns to help them develop, and I want to do everything I can to add to the strength and conditioning program for our athletes.”
At Baylor, Weischedel led strength and conditioning programs for the women’s golf squad and the Big 12 champion equestrian team while assisting with football, volleyball, track and field, cross country, women’s soccer and women’s tennis. He also spent a month in a coaching exchange program at the University of Missouri. He was a Frappier speed and acceleration intern at Jamestown College (N.D.) in 2006.
“Ryder brings the kind of energy and enthusiasm that will help keep our program moving forward,” Dorenkamp said. “He had great references from Baylor where he worked with a wide variety of sports, both men’s and women’s.”
A 2007 Jamestown College graduate, Weischedel served as captain of the school’s football squad and was an all-conference performer, as well as a national qualifier in wrestling. He earned his masters’ degree at California University (Pa.) in 2010.
Weischedel, a Gettysburg, S.D. native, is also an experienced rodeo bull rider and bull fighter. He begins his Central duties Aug. 1.
“I’m excited about Ryder coming to Central,” Johnson said. “He’s a perfect fit. He’s an energetic coach with a passion for strength and conditioning. He had a great experience at Baylor. His intensity and enthusiasm will be a great addition.”