NSCA History

NSCA History

  • The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 with 76 strength coaches from across the country with the common desire to network, collaborate and unify the profession of strength and conditioning. Since its inception, the NSCA has grown to nearly 30,000 members in 72 countries and become the leader in the research and education of strength and conditioning professionals. Take a tour of the NSCA’s past and learn more about how it became the institution that it is today.


    August 15, 1969 - A key event occurred which eventually led to the creation of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Bob Devaney, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska crossed a new threshold in the world of collegiate sports as the first Athletic Director to hire a full-time strength and conditioning coach. It turned out to be one of the most beneficial moves he would ever make and it eventually led to the first NSCA National Convention being held on the University of Nebraska campus in 1978.

    History 1.1

    In the fall of 1969, Bob Devaney was in danger. He came to Nebraska in 1962 and, in his first five seasons, finished no worse than 9-2. By the late sixties, however, his teams had fallen off of the standard that he had helped set, going 6-4 in both the ’67 and ’68 seasons and failing to reach a post-season bowl game. Making matters worse, the Huskers finished the 1968 season by taking a 47-0 thrashing at the hands of their archrival, the Oklahoma Sooners, on national television.

    At this point, some of the donors and alumni had begun grumbling that it might be time for a coaching change. Nebraska fans in Omaha went so far as to start a petition calling for Devaney’s removal. Faced with this reality, Devaney knew that changes had to be made, thus providing the impetus for what became Husker Power, the most successful strength and conditioning program in history.

    Figure 1 - Nebraska Head Coach and Athletic Director, Bob Devaney (center) gave the approval when Tom Osborne (front row far right) recommended hiring a strength and conditioning coach Boyd Epley, a former Nebraska record holder in the Pole Vault, became the first full-time paid strength and conditioning coach for the University of Nebraska athletic program. With the inception of Epley as the strength and conditioning coach, the Huskers football program thrived, and did so almost immediately.

    During the 1969 season, they posted a 9-2 record that included a 44-14 thumping of Oklahoma, the worst loss Oklahoma had ever had at home at that point in time. Nebraska trounced Georgia 45-6 in the Sun Bowl then won the National Championship in 1970 and 1971. Epley gives a great deal of credit to Tom Osborne saying, “the strength program was really his idea … he’s the one who recognized the need for the program and asked me to help.”


    The 1970s saw the NSCA’s inception, launch of the National Conference, growth in the State Directors programs and Journal publication.

    September 17, 1977
    When Nebraska played Alabama, Strength Coach Boyd Epley was introduced to Southeast Conference Commissioner Boyd McWhorter. Commissioner McWhirter asked Epley what his position was at Nebraska, and then asked if Alabama also had a strength coach. It was then and there that Epley realized if the Commissioner was not aware that strength coaches existed and were a valuable part of the athletic program then there was a serious need for strength coaches to unite.

    Fig 1.2 Coach Boyd Epley (center). Seeing the success Epley had at Nebraska, many other schools across the nation began hiring strength and conditioning coaches.

    A letter was sent to strength coaches by Epley announcing a National Directory that would list Strength Coaches. Nebraska Athletic Director, Bob Devaney allowed Epley to create the Directory of Strength Coaches which led to hosting the first ever National Strength Coaches Convention on the Nebraska campus. Coach Devaney also approved the first NSCA office on the Nebraska campus and approved printing the NSCA Bulletin and Journal at the University Print Shop.

    February 22, 1978
    The National Directory of Strength Coaches was printed by UNL Printing. The directory was compiled in an attempt to identify Strength Coaches throughout America. Mike Arthur, Gary Wade, and Bill Allerheiligen of the Nebraska strength staff were a great help putting the directory together.

    Fig. 1.4 The original NSCA logo was designed by Martha Florence, a student worker at the University of Nebraska audiovisual department.

    April 1978
    Jim Williams of Arkansas and Pete Martinelli of New Mexico called Epley and told him that they thought the National Directory of Strength Coaches was a good first step, but what was really needed was an association of strength coaches. Of course, they wanted Epley to do the work. Knowing how much work the directory had been, having sent out thousands of requests for information and processing the information received, Epley wasn’t convinced he had time to start an association. The President of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), invited the strength coaches to join their association.

    Epley sent letters to the strength coaches explaining the invitation to have a strength coaches group within the NATA and attend their conference. The NATA conference was held in Las Vegas in June. Dan Riley of Penn State called Epley and pleaded with him to avoid the association with the NATA. He felt the strength coaches needed to be independent. Riley said he would be in Kansas City giving a speech and asked Epley to meet him there to discuss the future for strength coaches. Jim Williams, Pete Martinelli, Dan Riley, Mike Arthur and Epley met in Kansas City. Through this meeting, Epley was persuaded to host the first NSCA National convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, and the date was confirmed for July 29-30, 1978.

    July 12, 1978
    At the 1978 National Athletic Trainers Convention in Las Vegas, Boyd Epley and Jim Williams stood in the hotel lobby with a sign promoting the first NSCA conference to be in Lincoln. They redirected several strength coaches to Lincoln who had come to Las Vegas thinking the first meeting would be there.

    Fig. 1.7 Arthur Jones, Owner of Nautilus.

    July 17, 1978
    Arthur Jones, the owner of Nautilus, called Epley and wanted him to cancel the first NSCA convention. He asked Epley to come to Florida to his home so they could talk. Epley said he could come after the convention. Jones did not want strength coaches to get organized. Jones was a very dominant individual and a powerful force in the strength training industry. Jones was afraid the strength coaches would unite and no longer listen to his machine training philosophy, and he was right.

    The controversy between barbell training and machine training had led to many arguments both verbally and in print. Epley did go visit Arthur Jones and stayed at his house after the first NSCA conference. Epley was not only successful in convincing Jones the NSCA was necessary, he convinced Nautilus to be a major advertiser in the new NSCA Journal that was soon to be developed.

    July 28, 1978
    Epley invited the 76 conference attendees to his house in Lincoln for burgers on Friday, July 28 – the night before the first convention. The 76 guests included the strength coaches from across the country as well as the exhibitors that took a chance on this new organization.

    Fig. 1.8 Bob Devaney is NSCA's first keynote speaker.

    July 29, 1978
    The first National Strength Coaches Association Convention hosted in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday and Sunday, July 29 and 30, was held at the Nebraska Continuing Education Center. Boyd Epley was named Executive Director, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. The title President was not used the first year. Bob Devaney, Nebraska Athletic Director was the first NSCA Keynote Speaker and the first Athletic Director to hire a full-time strength and conditioning coach. Entertainment was provided by Nebraska All-American offensive tackle Kelvin Clark who sang I’ve Been Everywhere Boys.

    The original mission of the National Strength Coaches Association was to: Unify its members and facilitate a professional exchange of ideas in the area of strength development as it relates to the improvement of athletic performance and fitness.   

    July 30, 1978
    Six Regional Directors were elected: Bill Thomas – Western Region; Steve Bliss – Eastern Region; who later became President, Paul Hoolahan – Southeast Region; who later became Executive Director then Vice President, Dr. Tom Baechle – Midwest Region; who later became Executive Director then President, Pete Martinelli – Southwest Region; Mike Flynt – Northwest Region; and Luanne Sundberg – Secretary/Treasurer.

    Fig. 1.10 Luanne Sundberg was the first NSCA secretary.

    Fig. 1.11 76 Charter Members who attended the first NSCA National Conference.

    Bill Allerheiligen Jerry Cullen Jack R. Hecker Jim Kozak Peter Martinelli Randy Pospishil Merv Van Engen
    John H. Arce Jeremiah Davis Bill Henderson Jim LaBonte Mike Merritt Gene Primm Dan Viola
    Mike Arthur Boyd Epley Richard Holland J. Stanley Land Al Miller Jerome C. Provence Gary A. Wade
    Tom Baechle Robert J. Fix Dave Holton Dana LeDuc Wilbur Miller Dave Redding Jim Williams
    Kevin Beck Jim Flanagan Paul Hoolahan Dan McCarney Doug Nelson John Sisk  
    Garry Benford Michael Flynt Ron Hubbard Bill McCullough Augie Nieto Harry Smith  
    Steve Bliss Doug Garfield John V. Hughes Larry McDaniel Dick Parks Butch Stackpole  
    Keith “Jake” Boyer Mike Gittleson Larry Jackson Rick McDermott Tony Paroli Allen Stanford  
    Jake Burkhardt Ralph Griesser Arno L. Jensen Scott McFarlane Bill Patterson Bill Story  
    Kathy Calder Joe Handlos Arthur Jones Tim McGuire Pat Patterson John R. Stucky  
    Roger J. Capan John Harper Jerry Kaminski Jerry McMahon Ronald Pecoravo Gene Suhr  
    Charles Craven Michael Hawkins Ken Kontor Dan McNutt Gregory Pittman Harry Van Arsdale  

    August 1978
    Ken Kontor was hired as Assistant Executive Director to run the NSCA office, and immediately began plans for the first NSCA Newsletter.  Ken was named Executive Director in 1983.

    November 1978
    An introductory issue of the NSCA newsletter was sent to members that recapped the proceedings of the first national convention. The six Regional Directors were charged with hosting a Regional NSCA clinic annually.

    December 1978/January 1979
    The National Strength Coaches Association Newsletter – the official voice of the NSCA began publication with the Dec/Jan Volume 1, Number 1. The newsletter was sent to 8,000 high school and college coaches. One of the first areas of concentration was women’s strength training. It was announced in the 1979 June/July newsletter that Jane Lilyhorn was named the first National Director for Women’s strength coaches.

    Fig. 1.13 Jane Lilyhorn, first National Women’s Director.

    December 1978/January 1979
    Three initial levels of membership were established:$25 for Professional, $25 for Affiliate and $10 for Student.

    December 1978/January
    The NSCA College Football All-American Strength Team was presented in the very first NSCA newsletter. The selection committee consisted of six NSCA Regional Directors who determined winners from statistics submitted by Division I college strength coaches. Even though the NSCA was only a few months old the Associated Press nationally recognized the NSCA All-American Strength Team for Football on December 18th. This team helped put the NSCA on the map with football coaches around the country.  Six members of this team were drafted in the first round of the National Football League (NFL).

    December 1978/January 1979
    The NSCA Job Finder listed employment openings in the strength coaching field with the University of South Carolina and Louisiana State University being featured.

    December 1978/January 1979
    The first Newsletter also featured a “Book Review Section,” a “New Apparatus Report,” a "Letter to the Editor Section,” and coverage of strength and conditioning programs for a variety of sports.

    May 1979
    The NSCA received support in the May issue of Strength and Health magazine by Bob Hoffman the world famous weightlifting coach and editor of the magazine.

    May 4-5, 1979
    Nearly 300 attended the second NSCA National Conference held in Chicago in conjunction with the Physicians and Sports medicine group. Bill Thomas dropped out as a Regional Director.  The remaining five Regional Directors would now have a dual role. In order to comply with the federal non-profit regulations the Regional Directors would now serve as the NSCA Board of Directors. Boyd Epley was elected as the President, Executive Director and Chairman of the new Board of Directors. The newly elected Board was a unanimous decision by the membership present at the convention. Epley was provided a $4000 salary as Executive Director but never took any salary. Ken Kontor continued to serve as Assistant Executive Director.

    Seven committees were established and certification was discussed for the first time receiving support from the members. It determined that Regional Clinics would not be enough for the demand and a State Director format was selected. A “Guidelines to a Strength Clinic” booklet was prepared for the State Directors to ensure a standard of excellence and a section in the newsletter was established to list upcoming clinics. The featured speaker was Bob Ward of the Dallas Cowboys and this program was featured in the NSCA Newsletter.

    May 1979
    The NSCA announced a Journal will be published on a bi-monthly basis. On the months the Journal is not distributed a bulletin would be distributed.

    June 13, 1979
    The NSCA was incorporated in the state of Nebraska. Robert Eberly, Legal Counsel, was responsible for getting the NSCA off the ground legally with bylaws and contracts.

    December 15, 1979
    17 states had NSCA State Directors.


    History 2.7 Membership made significant gains with the launch of an additional member level option and branching out internationally. The 1980s also saw great strides for certification with the first Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exams conducted.

    April 1980
    A questionnaire was mailed to NSCA members regarding the criterion necessary for certification. Respondents overwhelmingly favored certification.

    History 2.117,000 free look promotional brochures were sent out giving coaches a chance to see what the NSCA Journal was like which led to 2025 new members for the NSCA. The brochure featured wingback Kenny Brown from Nebraska.

    Fig. 2.1 Kenny Brown featured on free look brochure.

    May 22, 1980
    Membership stood at 2600 on the second anniversary of the NSCA. NSCA State Clinics were established which have proven to be the backbone of the NSCA grassroots network. NSCA student membership was increased from $10 to $12. Certification committee chairman Dr. Tom Baechle pointed out to the members in attendance at the third national conference that the path to certification would be difficult and one that will take time and careful Planning. Paul Hoolahan, the Head Strength Coach for North Carolina, was named Executive Director with Epley continuing to serve as President and Ken Kontor continuing as Assistant Executive Director.

    History 2.2Fig. 2.2 Paul Hoolahan is appointed Executive Director.

    May 14, 1981
    Boyd Epley made a motion and it was approved by the Board to change the name from The National Strength Coaches Association to the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  This was done to make the association available to a broader group of persons interested in strength and conditioning.

    Association membership increased to 3500 representing all 50 states and 16 foreign countries. The NSCA national office was moved off campus to 251 Capital Beach Blvd.  Suite 12 in Lincoln, NE .Karen Knortz, the Head Athletic Trainer for the University of Nebraska Women’s Athletic Teams became the first Chairman for Research.

    Fig. 2.4 Karen Knortz became the NSCA’s First Chairman for Research.

    May 1982
    Dr. Tom Baechle presented a Certification feasibility study as his plans for certification were taking shape.

    May 5, 1982
    Association membership rose to 4900 including 22 countries. Dr. Tom Baechle replaced Paul Hoolahan as Executive Director and Paul Hoolahan became Vice President. Vern Allers, Head Strength Coach at Oregon is named Chairman of the NSCA Ethics Committee. Steve Bliss is Chairman of the first NSCA Scholarship Committee.

    June 3, 1982
    The NSCA Articles of Incorporation are approved as a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization.

    A new governance structure was proposed by Baechle and supported by the Board that created Vice President positions for Education, Research, High School, College and Professional coaches. With the increased size and diversity of the NSCA membership there was a need to expand opportunities for more members to serve at the decision-making level in the NSCA. Under Baechle’s direction, the NSCA Education Committee developed a state clinic curriculum for Kansas. The elements of program design, tests and measurements, physiological effects of conditioning, exercise techniques, and safety concerns were all contained within the NSCA support materials, along with visual and audiovisual aids. Thus, a clinic teaching team, organized by the NSCA state director, was able to present a uniform curriculum, while at the same time producing the intentional side-effect of clinic consistency for programs led at diverse sites.

    May 12, 1983
    Evelyn G. Hall became the first women named to the Board of Associate Editors for the NSCA Journal. Denise Wood, from the University of Tennessee, was selected as the head of the Women’s Advisory Committee. At the Los Angeles Convention Boyd Epley resigned as President after heading the Association for five years as the main structure of the NSCA was in place and membership had grown to 6200.Dr. Tom Baechle, a graduate and professor at Nebraska, was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He served as the first Midwest Regional Director, and as the second Executive Director was voted the NSCA President by the Board of Directors to replace Epley. In 1998 Tom was presented the NSCA Lifetime Achievement Award.

    History 2.5Fig. 2.6 Thomas R. Baechle, EdD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D is President.

    Tom made many changes during his presidency but is best known for his work in NSCA Certification. Keith Kephart was named Vice President which was later called President-Elect. Ken Kontor replaced Dr. Tom Baechle as Executive Director of the NSCA. Baechle began his two-year term with three distinct goals. First, create an awareness and appreciation for strength and conditioning knowledge grounded in scientific research.

    With a doctrine founded in research, Baechle reasoned, the NSCA would be better able to identify through certification examination those who did and those who did not know the essence of the profession. Second, establish credibility for the NSCA among sporting federations and academic institutions. This was to be achieved, in part, by recognizing those within the organization who could demonstrate (using certification) strength and conditioning expertise. Third, change from an autocratic to a democratic process for the selection of Board members.

    History 2.7January 1984
    Baechle negotiated with the Professional Examination Service to provide psychometric guidance in the development of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists certification program.

    Fig. 2.7 NSCA CSCS logo.

    March 1984
    Baechle organized the first NSCA Certification Committee in Kansas City with a Senior Associate from the Professional Examination Service to determine competency areas to be tested in the CSCS exam, and to develop questions that would assess those competencies. The test was composed of objective multiple choice sections titled “Scientific Foundations” and “Practical/Applied.” The latter of which also included a videotape portion, since it was believed by the Committee that written questions alone could not effectively evaluate the practical application of strength and conditioning skills.

    June 1984
    The seventh conference held in Pittsburgh saw Dr. Baechle make a motion for the board to begin meeting at mid-year as an Executive Committee. The association was growing and had many issues that needed attention.

    January 1985
    President Baechle made a motion for the President-Elect Keith Kephart to be appointed as chairperson of the Ethics committee and along with Robert Eberly the NSCA attorney developed the due process procedure by which an NSCA member is charged for a violation of the Code of Ethics. A fundraising program named Lift America (cooperative effort between the NSCA and Special Olympics International) was initiated with the intent of gathering funds through pledges with Arnold Schwarzenegger helping to be shared by Special Olympics and NSCA.

    Article 7, Section 1- (c) of the NCAA rules was amended to permit strength and conditioning coaches to conduct warm-up activities for athletes including prior to games and prior to or during any practice in football or basketball.

    History 2.9aFig. 2.9 Strength Coaches can now conduct warm-up activities for athletes.

    June 1985- The NSCA Board approved its “Position Statement: Use and Abuse of Anabolic Steroids.” This position statement was the first by an association to take a stand against steroids. Rather than enlarge the NSCA Journal, in 1985 the NSCA board of Directors began formal discussions for the establishment of a new journal devoted entirely to applied sports science research.

    After five years of work on certification, including a survey to the membership by Baechle in 1981 to determine the feasibility of instituting a certification program, the Certification Committee offered its first Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist examination. Of the 168 individuals who sat for the exam, 126 passed. By 2007 there were more than 30,000 professionals in more than 60 countries certified either as CSCS or NSCA-CPT, and exams were available in Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, and two versions of Chinese.

    History 2.111985 – 1987
    President Keith Kephart, the Head Strength Coach from the University of Kansas, worked with those pushing forward with our desire to put in place "certification"—wanting to bridge the gap between science and those in the trenches or on the field.

    Fig. 2.11 Keith Kephart is NSCA President

    President Kephart said, “My primary focus is to, in some way, work with Athletic Administrators to have their strength coaches working for the athletic department and not under the power of football. Too many coaches were held in place based upon the success of the football program and they should be considered as a part of the athletic program, not JUST football.”

    August 1985
    The NSCA released a position paper Prepubescent Strength Training. Showing that strength training can be safe for the prepubescent athlete.

    January 1986
    The NSCA Code of Ethics was adopted by the NSCA Board.

    The NSCA Anabolic Steroid Position Statement was distributed nationally denouncing steroid use, explaining that strength coaches must face this issue head-on. Certification exams were held in New Orleans, New York and Los Angeles.

    January 1987
    The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research was published for the first time. This Journal helped “Bridge the Gap” between the practitioner and the sport scientist.

    1987 – 1989
    Steve Bliss, a graduate of the University of Nebraska and was the first ever Head Strength Coach for the University of Miami and the first for the Ohio State University, is NSCA President. In 2010 he was presented the Boyd Epley Award for Lifetime Achievement.

    History 2.13Fig. 2.13 Steve Bliss, MEd, CSCS is NSCA President

    A preparation packet was completed to assist members in preparation of the CSCS exam which was later developed in an Exam Prep Course. The NSCA national office was moved into the third floor of the old City Hall Building in Lincoln, Nebraska. The NSCA did a Journal exchange with Leipzig University of the Physical Culture of the German Democratic Republic. The NSCA signed an agreement with Morinaga to establish an NSCA chapter in Japan and on April 16, 1991 NSCA Japan was established. By 2012, NSCA Japan had more than 5,000 Certified Members.

    History 2.151988
    Meg Ritchie became the first female strength coach in Division I at the University of Arizona. Meg Ritchie was the first female to be an association officer and opened many doors for women in the strength training industry. She later married one of the top strength researchers in the nation, Dr. Michael Stone, and was presented the Boyd Epley Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2009.

    Fig. 2.15 Meg Stone is first Div I Female Strength Coach.

    June 1988
    At the Orlando, Florida Convention, Dr. Terry Todd was the featured speaker.

    October 1988
    Professional liability insurance was made available to the NSCA members at the request of President Steve Bliss.

    November 12, 1988
    The first NSCA Australasia Convention and Trade Show was held in Sydney.

    It was apparent the NSCA now needed to gain the interest and attention of scientists worldwide in order to make an impact in the acceptance of strength and conditioning as a viable field of study. More importantly we also needed to train even more young scientists with an interest in the NSCA’s mission of “bridging the gap.” For the NSCA to be a major player in the sports medicine and exercise and sport science field, we needed to have a research focal point that represented the NSCA commitment to the science of strength and conditioning. That scientific element within the NSCA would be the Journal of Scientific Research.

    The NCAA voted to require random drug testing in football programs.

    The NSCA Steroid Education Packet was produced.

    January 1989
    The National Strength and Conditioning Foundation was created to fund anticipated research. Officers elected were Steve Bliss, Bill Kraemer and Doug Semenick.

    President Kraemer initiated the development of a position stand utilizing a “blue ribbon” panel of experts on anabolic drug use. He says, “We developed extensive teaching tools and educational materials for the coach to support them as field practitioners with the necessary materials and strategies to work with athletes, parents and school administrators.” His efforts coincided with the NCAA requirements for random drug testing and the public persona of many in prior years that a strength coach was part of the anabolic drug problem. The NSCA beat back the many misperceptions by promoting the strength and conditioning coach as a source of solid information. In this process, the NSCA also had to make hard decisions with the “ethics committee” and deal with membership and the penalties for behaviors not consistent with the NSCA ethical mission and stance for anabolic drug use.
    History 2.16
    July 1989
    Steve Bliss hands the gavel over to new President Dr. Bill Kraemer.

    Fig. 2.16 Bliss hands gavel to Kraemer.
    History 2.17
    1989 – 1991
    William J. Kraemer (Bill) was the Head Strength Coach at Carroll College in Wisconsin before moving to Penn State University and University of Connecticut as a Sport Scientist. He was presented the NSCA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994.

    Fig. 2.17 William J. Kraemer, PhD, CSCS is NSCA President.

    As President of the NSCA, Bill looked at the promotion of the scientific practices in the field and the need for more published research as being one of the major pushes needed for the organization. Dr. Kraemer was the first scientist elected as president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in 1989. Dr. Kraemer’s desire was to demonstrate to the world that the NSCA was not only an organization for high-level strength and conditioning coaches, but also one that valued science and could make a real contribution to every field that utilized strength and conditioning practices. This was needed to keep the focus on the NSCA as the world’s leader in strength and conditioning.

    August 1989
    A position paper was published, Strength Training for Female Athletes.


    History 3.7 The NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer credential is launched in the 1990s, along with the publication of the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning text and the administrative headquarters moved to Colorado Springs, CO.

    Fall 1990 - Penn State formed the first NSCA Student Chapter.

    January 1991
    NCAA legislation was amended to permit unlimited, voluntary training time under the supervision of the strength and conditioning staff.
    Dr. Kraemer says, “We nurtured the development of a major centerpiece of the organization with the push for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research to stand alone and be a major source for research in strength and conditioning. We saw the need for more involvement of collegiate strength and conditioning coaches in the NSCA and developed a significant interest group model to promote their unique agenda as members.”

    June 1991
    State Directors are now elected by the members in their state every four years.

    July 1991
    Bruno Pauletto elected NSCA Board President.

    1991 – 1994
    Bruno Pauletto, the Head Strength Coach for the University of Tennessee and was presented the NSCA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

    History 3.1Fig. 3.1 Bruno Pauletto is NSCA President.

    President Pauletto says, “The NSCA is a diamond in the rough. It typifies the relative youth of the NSCA as an organization, as well as the strength and conditioning profession. In both instances, there is tremendous weight and value yet, we are just beginning to appreciate each facet.” The Pauletto era was one of change. The 1990-91 and 1991-92 expenses exceeded income. This prompted President Pauletto to make changes and implement cost cutting measures.

    June 15, 1992
    Ken Kontor resigned as Executive Director and was replaced with Maleu Fleck on January 1, 1993.

    1993 - The NSCA-CPT certification is now available for Personal Trainers.

    History 3.2January 1993
    Maleu Fleck was hired as Executive Director. Maleu helped Bruno put the NSCA back on track financially and would eventually move the NSCA administrative headquarters to Colorado Springs. The NSCA Strength and Conditioning for Football was created in Atlanta. The conference was later titled the Sports Specific Conference and in 2010 was changed to the Coaches Conference.

    Fig. 3.2
    Maleu Fleck is named Executive Director

    History 3.61994
    NSCA Japan introduced an NSCA Journal for their members.

    Fig. 3.6 NSCA Japan introduces their firstNSCA Journal.

    February 20, 1994
    The NSCA World Headquarters moved from Lincoln, Nebraska to Colorado Springs.

    June 1994
    Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning was introduced.

    History 3.41994-1996
    Dr. Michael Stone is NSCA President. He has been one of the top strength and conditioning researchers in the field for many years. He literally changed how strength coaches train athletes in their off-season conditioning programs by showing that developing an aerobic base was not necessary for power sports like football.

    Fig. 3.4 Michael H. Stone, PhD, FNSCA is President

    President Stone has been the head of sport physiology for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the chair of sport at Edinburgh University in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is also an adjunct professor at Edinburgh University; Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia; and Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He is currently the director of the exercise and sports science laboratory in the department of kinesiology, leisure, and sport sciences at East Tennessee State University. Mike was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

    January 1995
    State Directors are now required to be CSCS-certified.

    History 3.81996-1998
    Donald A. Chu is NSCA President. He says, “Efforts during the first year of my presidency led to a method of improved accountability and transparency for the Executive Director with the NSCA Board and NSCA staff involved in the evaluation process.”

    Fig 3.8 Donald A. Chu, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA is President.

    History 3.9

    Fig. 3.9 Harvey Newton replaces Maleu Fleck as Executive Director.

    Marketing strategic planning with Executive Council and the NSCA Board led to an unusual increase in revenues which led to solid financial funding for the administrations that followed.

    History 3.10July 1998-2000
    Dan Wathen is NSCA President. He was the Athletic Trainer and Head Strength Coach at Youngstown State University and was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

    Fig. 3.10 Dan Wathen, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA is President.

    President Wathen says, “Editorship of NSCA Journal (Strength & Conditioning) was transferred from the NSCA executive director to a member (Dr. Jeff Chandler). Dates for the NSCA annual conference were moved from June to July to facilitate lower airline and hotel costs for attendees. NSCA certification exams were being given in more than a dozen countries outside of the USA and had been or were being translated in Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese. Study materials had been or were being translated in the same languages.”

    July 1999
    NSCA purchased a building in Colorado Springs for its headquarters and had a dedication for the new headquarters. NSCA membership was near 20,000 with more than 60% of that number holding one of the NSCA certifications (CSCS and/or NSCA-CPT).

    September 1999
    Executive Director Harvey Newton was replaced with Interim Director, Kim Dixon.

    In the 2000s, the NSCA launched two significant programs: Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach® (RSCC) and the Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC). The certification commission was also voted by membership to move to the Colorado Springs headquarters. A Standards and Guidelines Document for facilities and practitioners was published by the NSCA.

    Fig. 4.1 Standards and Guidelines Document

    Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning second edition is published by Human Kinetics.

    Fig. 4.4 Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (second edition)

    History 4.4

    College strength coaches requested the CSCS credential to include experience to identify and recognize those coaches that could conduct strength and conditioning programs for athletes. Dr. Baechle did a tremendous job putting the certification program in place, but when he refused to add an experience component to the CSCS credential it caused dissention in the college strength coaching ranks.

    March 2000
    A strategic planning and leadership conference was held under the direction of President-Elect Dr. Richard Borden in Colorado Springs. A new mission statement was developed during the meeting: As the worldwide authority on strength and conditioning, we support and disseminate research-based knowledge and its practical application to improve athletic performance and fitness. NSCA assets exceeded $600,000.

    July, 2000 - 2003
    Richard A. Borden is NSCA President. He says, “Reorganization of the format of the Board was a priority. Only main motions were on the agenda. Motions needed to have acceptable format, with support statements.”

    History 4.2

    Fig. 4.2 Richard A. Borden, PhD, CSCS, FNSCA is NSCA President

    President Borden formalized the Board meetings and developed a more structured annual meeting. He introduced Special Interest Groups and moved to eliminate artificial categories of membership on the Board such as Vice president for Education, and moved to eliminate the outdated category of President-Elect and extend the Presidential term to three years as with all Board Members. He established a formal Executive Director evaluation with formal input from the NSCA Board, NSCA staff, and peers.

    History 4.3

    Fig. 4.3 Bob Jursnick is named NSCA Executive Director and had a 10-year run before retiring in 2010.

    January 2002
    The NSCA Performance Training Journal was first offered.

    History 4.5

    Fig 4.5 First NSCA Performance Training Journal in 2002.

    July 2002
    Bo Jackson and Boyd Epley were keynote speakers at the NSCA’s 25th National Conference.

    Fig. 4.6 Bo Jackson, Keynote Speaker at the 25th Annual NSCA National Conference in Las Vegas.

    President Borden continued to push the NSCA Board to remove the Certification Commission and its actives from the NSCA by-laws with motions. He prepared a white paper on the relationship between the NSCA Board and the Certification Commission. President Borden pointed out some very serious issues in his White Paper that would later come to a head under President Lee Brown’s leadership. Borden wrote, “Although the Certification Commission is legally under the jurisdiction and governance of the BOD, it is doing business as a financially independent organization and, in many instances, represents the NSCA in business dealings. Accordingly, the BOD over the years has adopted a “hands off” approach to the Commission and afforded them a degree of independence not warranted by the NSCA by-laws.”

    History 4.7

    Fig. 4.7 Dr. Richard Borden addresses problems with the Certification Commission.

    July 2003 – 2006
    Bill Allerheiligen is NSCA President. Bill was a member of the Nebraska strength staff and helped host the first NSCA National Conference.

    History 4.8

    Fig. 4.8 Bill Allerheiligen, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA is NSCA President.

    December 2003
    The NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training is released.

    History 4.9

    Fig. 4.9 Essentials of Personal Training (first edition).

    May 8, 2004
    Dedication of NSCA World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Boyd Epley was named Capital Campaign Chairman. A Founders Club was established to raise funds for the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s $4.2 million World Headquarters in Colorado Springs.

    History 4.10

    Fig. 4.10 President Allerheiligen, Founder Boyd Epley cutting the ribbon, Executive Director Robert Jursnick, Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera, and Dave Palenchar of the El Pomar Foundation.

    History 4.11a

    Fig. 4.11 NSCA World Headquarters.

    July 2004
    President Allerheiligen recommended to the NSCA Board of Directors the first Public Member-At-Large, Karen Ballek.

    President Allerheiligen approved the Communications Committee. He reconstituted the Past-Presidents Committee to serve in an advisory capacity to the NSCA Board of Directors. He approved the creation of the NSCA Nutrition Metabolic and Body Composition Special Interest Group (SIG) and approved the creation of the Youth Special Interest Group.

    President Allerheiligen approved the addition of artificial turf at the NSCA World Headquarters and created the Student Assistantship Program. He also initiated amending the NSCA Bylaws and established a six-month operational reserve.

    History 4.13

    Fig. 4.13 Artificial turf at world headquarters.

    July 2005
    Helen Brinkley developed the Graduate Education Recognition Program.

    The Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach Program created to recognize strength and conditioning coaches with experience beyond certification.

    History 4.14a

    Fig. 4.14 The NSCA Registry for Strength Coaches is created by Dr. Jay Hoffman.

    President Allerheiligen voted to adopt Constituency Representation on the NSCA Board of Directors. This motion ensured there would be constituency representation on the NSCA Board of Directors specifically from the areas of: Personal Trainer, Institutional Strength & Conditioning Processional, Academician/Researcher, and Sports Medicine Professional.

    2006 - 2009
    Dr. Lee E. Brown is NSCA President, a professor from Cal State Fullerton. President Brown resurrected the NSCA Foundation (NSCF) with a $300,000 endowment and created a separate NSCF 501(c) 3 with its own Board of Directors (BOD) and bylaws. During his presidency the endowment grew to more than $3 million dollars.

    History 4.15a

    Fig. 4.15 Lee E. Brown, EdD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA is President.

    President Brown created a strategic alliance with Ireland and created a Women’s task force to look into creating more opportunities for female members. President Brown invited the USAW to offer certification at NSCA events.

    August 1, 2006
    After 37 years, Boyd Epley retired from Nebraska on July 28 and began as the Director of Coaching Performance with the NSCA on August 1. Epley developed the Coaching Performance Department to focus on programs for coaches.

    February 2007
    NSCA’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning Program formally started in February 2007. TSAC roots go back to September 2004 when the NSCA was approached by Colorado Springs Police SWAT lieutenant about fitness testing and training. The first informal TSAC symposium was hosted by Fairfax County Police SWAT in Fairfax, VA also in February of 2007 and was conducted by Mark Stephenson and Dr. Jay Hoffman.

    History 4.16

    Fig 4.16 TSAC program is created by Dr. Jay Hoffman and Mark Stephenson.

    History 4.17

    July 2007
    The NSCA’s first Fellows are honored at the National Conference in Atlanta and celebrated its 30th National Conference by presenting a gold ring to each former President.

    History 4.18

    Fig 4.18 Past Presidents receive ring to honor 30th Anniversary. L to R Lee Brown, Bill Allerheiligen, Dan Wathen, Mike Stone, Bruno Pauletto, Bill Kraemer, Steve Bliss, Keith Kephart, Tom Baechle and Boyd Epley.

    July 19, 2007
    China signs an agreement with NSCA Executive Director Bob Jursnick at the World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO.

    History 4.19

    Fig. 4.19 China signs agreement.

    July 28, 2007
    President Brown held a NSCA Strategic Planning meeting in Colorado Springs to develop new goals for the Association. During this meeting Unity was identified as the primary goal of the NSCA. After presenting extensive bylaw changes to the membership limiting certification powers, the NSCA was sued by its own certification commission council members (Jeff Falkel, Margaret Jones, John Kordich and Barbara Young), one certification employee (Janet Owens) and one NSCA BOD member (John Taylor) in an attempt to: prevent the NSCA Board of Directors from enforcing its legal and financial oversight and to secede from the Association. Through mediation, the issue was taken to the full NSCA membership for a vote in July of 2008. Unity was restored when the membership voted to approve the bylaw changes and move the certification operation to Colorado Springs to be under one roof in the NSCA World Headquarters.

    Also in 2007, Dr. Brown created strategic alliances with ACSM, Australia SCA and the United Kingdom SCA. He established a Personal Trainer Advanced Recognition program and hired Media Relations as the first ever NSCA Marketing firm.

    June 2008
    The Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (third edition) is released. 

    July 2008
    NSCA membership voted at the 2008 National Convention to unify the Association by approving all recommended bylaw changes and moving all certification activities to Colorado Springs. This action resulted in an annual savings in excess of $1.5 million dollars. In 2008, President Brown changed the name of the National Strength and Conditioning Foundation to the National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation. He expanded the NSCA into Europe and China and created strategic alliances with Brazil and Spain. He increased the JSCR to 6 issues per year and hired LWW as the new Journal publisher. The NSCA began offering Webinars to NSCA members in 2008 and the NSCA Bulletin was changed from paper to an electronic delivery. Dr. Brown approved a new Youth Training Position Stand and approved a new Steroid Position Stand. He also established the Michael H. Stone Sports Science Lecture to be held at each NSCA Annual Conference.

    September 2008
    TSAC, was providing strength and conditioning to Colorado Springs Police SWAT, K-9, EOD, and Patrol on a daily basis. Also in September 2008, the NSCA was providing strength and conditioning services to the entire US Army 10th SFG(A).

    December 2008
    The US Special Operations Command announced that military Special Operations Forces would need to hire strength and conditioning coaches and that all strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, and sports nutritionists would be required to have the NSCA CSCS credential. President Brown created strategic alliances with European Weightlifting Federation and Korea.

    2009 – 2012
    Dr. Jay R. Hoffman is NSCA President. During his presidency, Dr. Jay Hoffman moved from the College of New Jersey to Central Florida University where he is Chair, Child, Family and Community Sciences and Professor, Sport and Exercise Science.

    History 4.22

    Fig. 4.22 Jay R. Hoffman PhD, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D, FNSCA is NSCA President.

    July 2009
    Dr. Lee E. Brown was elected as President of the NSCA Foundation Board. Executive Director Bob Jursnick was given permission by the BOD to replace the worn-out turf at the NSCA Headquarters.

    History 4.23

    Fig. 4.23 The NSCA field was upgraded to provide a safer training surface.

    The Strength & Conditioning Professional Standards & Guidelines paper was updated. G. Gregory Haff, was elected as Vice President of the Board and Jeff Stout as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board.


    The NSCA builds strategic partnerships and affiliations with the NCAA, National Federation of High Schools (NFHS), and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) to educated and support sport and strength coaches. Plans are also laid for the launch of the Certified Special Population Specialist credential.




    January 2010 - The Coach Practitioner program was eliminated and the Student Assistantship portion of the program was made part of the Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach Program. The NSCA provides up to five, $10,000 student assistantships each year.

    The establishment of a Coaching Performance Committee was approved by the Board. The purpose of the Coaching Performance Committee is to advise the BOD on matters that affect strength coaches. In the first meeting it was recommended to change the name of the Sports Specific Conference to the Coaches Conference – Education for the development of athletic performance. The name was changed officially during the next BOD meeting in March, 2010.


    July 2010 - Dr. Jeff Stout was elected Vice President to the Board of Directors and Dr. John McCarthy as Secretary/Treasurer to the Board of Directors. Bob Jursnick retired as Executive Director and Dr. Alan Kinniburgh became the eighth Executive Director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

    History 5.1


    Fig. 5.1 Dr. Alan Kinniburgh.


    Dr. Jay Hoffman and David Sandler were approved to serve as editors for the Essentials of Tactical Strength and Conditioning text by the Board of Directors.


    October 2010 - The Board of Directors approved two new levels of distinction for the Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach program. RSCC*D for 10 or more years of experience and RSCC*E for twenty or more years.


    January 2011 - Boyd Epley was promoted to Senior Director making this a new position in the NSCA staff. Boyd was previously Director of Coaching Performance.

    February 2011 - Mary Ellen Leicht Executive Director of the National Junior College Athletic Association endorsed the NSCA Certification, “We recommend certified strength coaches in our junior colleges.”

     History 5.2


    Fig. 5.2 National Junior College endorsement.


    March 2011 - The NSCA began offering an Exam Prep course at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. This is the largest sporting event in the nation with more than 18,000 athletes present competing in 45 sports.

    History 5.3


    Fig. 5.3 Arnold Sports Festival adds NSCA Exam Prep Course.


    April 2011 - The NSCA created a Crisis Management program as part of Policies and Procedures that were put online and shared with NSCA members to use and put into practice.

    May 2011 - NSCA became an Affiliate Member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

    History 5.4


    Fig. 5.4 NSCA is Affiliate Member of the NCAA.


    June 2011 - Floyd Keith of the Black Coaches and Administrators association endorsed the NSCA RSCC program. “Due to the continuing safety issues in training college athletes with sickle cell trait, the BCA recommends that all colleges require their strength and conditioning coaches to become CSCS-certified and encourage those with two or more years of experience to join the NSCA Registry.”

    History 5.5a

    Fig. 5.5 Black Coaches & Administrators endorsement.



    July 2011 - Dr. Jill Bush was elected to serve as Vice President to the Board of Directors and Chat Williams was elected to serve as Secretary/Treasurer to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors established a committee on diversity and charged this committee to discuss and recommend ways to increase diversity within the NSCA. Dr. Steve Fleck was voted President-Elect which includes a term of President 2012 to 2015. Steve is chair of the sports science department at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. 

    History 5.7 


    Fig. 5.6 Dr. Steve Fleck is President-Elect.


    Bobby Bowden, formerly of Florida State University, was the keynote speaker and the 34th National Conference and gave his endorsement of NSCA certification. “Let’s require certified strength coaches at all schools. Even an old country boy can see the value in that.”

     History 5.6


    Fig. 5.7 Bobby Bowden is keynote speaker at the 34th National Conference.

    A strength and conditioning manual was prepared for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) group of high school athletic directors to assist them with basic information their sports coaches need to supervise strength and conditioning programs.


    The NSCA is a sponsor of the Lutcher Stark Museum in Austin, Texas who opened the Joe and Betty Weider Wing at an event which included many icons in the performance and fitness industry. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the keynote speaker. This museum is the largest collection of strength and conditioning information in the world.

    History 5.8 


    Fig. 5.8 Lutcher Stark Museum.



    October 2011 - The NSCA created a National Safety Month campaign to recognize August as the most dangerous month of the year for athletes. NCAA statistics show that more injuries and deaths occur in August than any other month. Five high school athletes died during conditioning sessions in August of 2011. Essentials of Personal Training (second edition) is released.

     History 5.10


    Fig. 5.9 Essentials of Personal Training (second edition).




    January 2012 - A meet and greet session for Registered Strength and Conditioning Coaches was used to kick-off the annual Coaches Conference. Dr. Jay Hoffman was presented the first RSCC*D ring by Boyd Epley and Dr. Alan Kinniburgh.

     History 5.11


    Fig. 5.10 Dr. Hoffman is presented his RSCC*D ring.

    Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns was the keynote speaker at the Coaches Conference and gave a tremendous presentation on how Texas deals with training athletes in heat that exceed 100 degrees for over 100 days in a row.

     History 5.12


    Fig. 5.11 Mack Brown is keynote speaker at the 2012 Coaches Conference.


    A two-hour module was created for the National Federation of High Schools. (NFHS) designed to encourage sport coaches to become Associate Members of the NSCA.

    The NSCA was a co-sponsor along with the National Athletic Trainers Association of an Inter-Association Task force held at the United States Olympic Training Center to discuss how to reduce sudden death in conditioning for athletes. 

    The Board of Directors created The NSCA Impact Award to honor an individual or individuals that have made a national impact in the performance or fitness industry. The award is not intended to be an annual award but will be presented at the National Conference when the Board of Directors elects to do so.

    NSCA became an Organizational Partner of the National Activity Plan.


    February 2012 - The NSCA sponsored the USA Bobsled Team that followed up their Olympic Gold Medal with a 2012 World Championships held in Lake Placid, New York. 

     History 5.14


    Fig. 5.12 The NSCA logo appears on the side of the World Championship bobsled.


    The NSCA Board of Directors approved the CSPS Certification which requires CSCS or NSCA-CPT Certification as a pre-requisite to work with special populations. 

    History 5.15


    Fig. 5.13 CSPS Certification.

    Dr. Alan Kinniburgh announced that he and Dr. Steve Fleck negotiated a price to purchase the land that was previously being leased from the World Arena. The NSCA will now have the opportunity to expand and will own the entire property the facility sits on. 

    April 2012 - The NSCA unveiled a Renewal Course for Registered Strength and Conditioning Coaches. The $25 annual course is required for members of the Registry to maintain their status as the most distinguished strength and conditioning coaches.