December 6, 2022
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is proud to announce the recipients of the organization’s 2023 Coach of the Year Awards:
Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Megan Young, MS, MSEd, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D
College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Dan Wirth, MA, CSCS
Assistant College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Gary Calcagno, MA, CSCS, RSCC*E
Award winners are selected by the NSCA’s Coaching Taskforce, a group filled with previous award winners and other established leaders from the strength and conditioning community. The Taskforce determines the winners based on their contributions to the NSCA, their community, and the coaching profession.
Accepting the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award is Megan Young MS, MSEd, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D. Coach Young is a lifelong learner of optimizing for human performance, health and welfare, strategic integration of sport science, human optimization technology, data systems, and leading cross-functional management to support winning organizations. With over 15 years of high performance experience, she has applied these areas of expertise in various roles including Strength and Conditioning Coach and High Performance Director spanning collegiate athletics, and women’s and men’s professional soccer. Coach Young ensures her coaching leverages data-influenced decision-making, contextual compassion, and tactical empathy. She has been fortunate to train elite US and international athletes, Olympians, and World Cup Champions. She is often sought after as a thought leader, speaker, and expert in the evolution of the global coaching paradigm. Outside of her professional commitments she elevates and educates in conversations about cancer, specifically leukemia awareness as she is a current survivor herself (2015). Other areas of her invested time are in any activity in an ocean or lake, hiking, pickleball, and reading articles that challenge her current perspective. She resides in Seattle with her dear pup, Kilo, and her fiancé.
Accepting the College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award is Dan Wirth, MA, CSCS. Coach Dan Wirth is the Director of Olympic Performance at the University of Tennessee, a position he has held since December of 2018. He is instrumental in working with the Sports Performance staff to develop and coordinate Tennessee Athletics’ performance science initiatives and serves on the Athletics Sports Performance Team and Sports Science Committee. During the past year, Tennessee was honored as the SEC Overall All-Sports Champion, won 5 SEC Team Championships, and had 8 teams with top-16 national finishes. Dan and his wife of 33 years, Beth, have two grown children, Zak and Cassie. “I am truly blessed to have a caring and supportive family and so appreciative to be in this amazing field of performance development for over 3 decades,” says Dan.
Accepting the Assistant College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award is Gary Calcagno, MA, CSCS, RSCC*E. Calcagno is an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Oklahoma State University where he has been for the past 22 years and has 32 total years of experience in the field. Calcagno assists Rob Glass, Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning with football and Calcagno is responsible for the strength and conditioning of the Cowboy wrestling program. Since taking over the strength program for Coach John W. Smith, head wrestling coach at OSU since 1992, the Cowboy wrestling team has won four NCAA team National Championships, two NCAA Runner-up finishes, 24 NCAA individual National Championships, 17 Big 12 team Conference Championships, 94 Big 12 individual Conference Championships, three NWCA National Duals Championships, two Dan Hodge Trophy winners, eight Big 12 Conference Outstanding Wrestler Awards, two Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Year Awards, one NWCA National Duals Outstanding Wrestler Award, one Wade Schalles Award winner and has had 105 All-American selections. In addition, three freestyle wrestling team members for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, two freestyle wrestling team members for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and one freestyle wrestling team member for the 2012 Olympic Games in London were former Oklahoma State wrestlers. Out of those Olympic wrestlers trained by Calcagno, Jamill Kelly won silver in 2004 and Coleman Scott won bronze in 2012. Most recently at the 2021 Senior World Championships, freestyle wrestling member Daton Fix won the silver medal. In 2008, Calcagno was awarded the Bob Dellinger Distinguished Service Award from Oklahoma State Cowboy Wrestling.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners, Coaches Young, Wirth, and Calcagno,” says Eric McMahon, NSCA Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager. “These outstanding coaches represent many years of devotion and service to our profession and have positively impacted countless athletes and professionals along their paths. We are thankful for their dedication to the NSCA and proud to see them recognized as leaders in the field.”
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About the National Strength & Conditioning Association
Founded in 1978, The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a nonprofit association dedicated to advancing the strength and conditioning and related sport science professions around the world.
The NSCA exists to empower a community of professionals to maximize their impact through disseminating evidence-based knowledge and its practical application by offering industry-leading certifications, research journals, career development services, networking opportunities, and continuing education. The NSCA community is composed of more than 60,000 members and certified professionals throughout the world who further industry standards as researchers, educators, strength and conditioning coaches, performance and sport scientists, personal trainers, tactical professionals, and other related roles.