2021 Award Winners

2021 Career Awards

Boyd Epley Award for Lifetime Achievement: Bill Allerheiligen, MS, FNSCA

Bill Allerheiligen has been a high school, college, and professional strength coach for 35+ years. He has served as a college instructor in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, and program design. During his career, he has been a college strength coach at Nebraska, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Wyoming, and the University of Arkansas-Littlerock and professional coach with the Houston Oilers, and the training of four World Champion boxers. Bill was the 1988 National Strength Coach of the Year. Additionally, he has been an active volunteer at local high schools and non-profits in his community. Allerheiligen has been a profound and active supporter of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. During the 70’s Bill became one of the founding member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the first state director for Kansas. In the 80’s, Bill served on the NSCA’s Board as the Vice-President of Development and Region III Director, as well as, assisted with the establishment of the CSCS, served on the CSCS Item Writing Committee, and on the Executive Council of the CSCS Agency. During the 90’s, he continued to serve on the Executive Council of the Certification Commission, served as NSCA liaison to NCAA, CEU Committee member, and State Director Board of Wyoming. From the 2000s to present, Allerheiligen served as President of the NSCA from 2003 – 2006, and since his presidency continued to be active on several committees including the Fellow Review. Bill is a native of Holdrege, Nebraska and presently lives in Mauldin, South Carolina.

Alvin Roy Award for Career Achievement: Louie Simmons

Louie Simmons is a world-renowned Strength/Special Strengths coach and the founder of Westside Barbell. Every day, he is in the gym, watching and analyzing all athletic training from all his powerlifters, fighters, and track and field athletes. Westside Barbell is a living laboratory for Louie where he can undergo constant athletic experiments to push the boundaries of what is possible. He also has 30 athletes who deadlift over 800 pounds and four who deadlift over 900 pounds and 15 members who have a total lifting record over 2500 pounds, and seven over 2600 pounds total. Westside Barbell is the only gym in the world to have two over 2700 pound totals, plus five over 2800 pounds and one who has the biggest total of all time with 3005lbs. In addition to this Louie is one of three people to total elite in five weight classes with two-hour weigh-ins. Louie has published over 300 training articles, authored 10 books, and produced over 10 highly respected training videos. Louie Simmons is also the inventor of the Reverse Hyper® machine, Inverse Curl machine, Hip/Quad machine, Static/Dynamic developer, Athletic Training Platform, MR-19 Hamstring recruiter, and the Virtual Force Swing. He has been a strength consultant for the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and numerous college football teams. Louie has worked closely with Kent Johnson, Johnny Parker, and Buddy Morris, and a host of other professional and top-level strength coaches. Additionally, he has trained two Olympic gold medal sprinters, Butch Reynolds and Moe Robinson, both 400-meter sprinters.

NSCA Impact Award: Greg Haff, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA

G. Gregory Haff, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA, ASCC is the Professor of Strength and Conditioning at the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University. Professor Haff is currently researching ways to optimize the delivery of resistance training interventions as part of a variety of athlete’s periodized training plans. As part of this work, his research team is examining the factors related to close quarter battle and the use of technology to quantify workloads in special forces soldiers. Overall, he is interested in how to better design periodized training plans in order to ensure operational readiness as well as enhance the overall health and wellness of soldiers. Professor Haff served as the President of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) from 2015-2018. He is the co-editor of the 4th edition of the “NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning” and is a popular speaker at national and international conferences. He has consulted with the Chinese Olympic Committee (weightlifting/rowing), the English Institute of Sport (Track Cycling/Netball/Weightlifting), professional sports teams (Jacksonville Jaguars, Adelaide Crows, Western Force, Wildcats, West Coast Fever, and several other teams). He currently serves as the Sport Scientist on the Australian Weightlifting High Performance Commission. In 2014, Dr. Haff was named the United Kingdom Strength & Conditioning Association: Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year for Education and Research. Additionally, in 2011 he was awarded the NSCA’s William J. Kraemer Sport Scientist of the Year Award for his applied sport science research. Professor Haff is a Level 3 Weightlifting Coach in the United States and Australia. He has served as the Head Coach of the Australian Jr Men’s and Women’s Oceania Weightlifting Teams an Assistant Coach with the Australian Sr Women’s National Weightlifting Team. He is an Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Level-2 Strength Coach, a United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA).

President's Award Recipient: Maria Teresa Mendizabal, NSCA-CPT,*D

Maria Teresa was born in Puerto Rico, and for many years was a professional Ballet and Flamenco Dancer. She has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico, and years later graduated Magna Cum Laude in Physical Education. She founded during 1970’s her Dancing and Fitness School. Today, many of her students are dancers and ballet teachers in Puerto Rico and the United States. During 1975 she introduced aerobics in Puerto Rico, and founded together with her dearest friend Christine Vega, Aerobic Trainings International, a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Trainings Organization. Together they have travelled to South and Central America, Europe, United States and the Caribbean certifying more than 2,000 fitness professionals. During those years she was constantly invited to present in several Conventions and Fitness organizations in Europe, South and Central America, as well as in the United States. In 1995, she was a Gold Medalist in South Africa during the World Aerobic Competition. Had her own Fitness TV program for many years, and had her weekly fit-ness column in one of the best known newspaper in Puerto Rico. In 2004 she was elected by the National Strength and Conditioning Association the Personal Trainer of the Year , and a few years later she was appointed State Director for NSCA in Puerto Rico, and selected State Director of the year, years after. She holds several certifications among them NSCA-CPT,*D, ACSM, TRX, ZUMBA, Pilates, Willpower and Grace, and Ballet Barre. Her spicy styles, her unique choreography and her not ending desire to elevate the quality of the fitness profession keep her active in her Personal Training and Group Classes. She has been happily married to Hector Santiago, her beloved husband for 45 years, and together they have six children, and eight grandsons. Three years ago, she finished her book “Sorry, What’s Your Age”, where she reveals details of her life, and her desire to live 125 years, as still she has many projects to complete in her life.

President's Award Recipient: Jerry Palmieri, MA, CSCS, RSCC*E

New Jersey native and longtime Tom Coughlin assistant Jerry Palmieri served 12 seasons as the Giants’ strength and conditioning coach, a position he assumed on Jan. 13, 2004. He was with the Giants for Tom Coughlin’s entire tenure as head coach. Palmieri was the New Orleans Saints’ assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2003. Prior to that he spent nine years as a strength and conditioning coach under Coughlin, one at Boston College (where he was the director of strength and conditioning operations) and eight with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Palmieri began his career as a strength coach at the University of North Carolina in 1982. From there he moved to Oklahoma State University (1984-86) and Kansas State University (1987-92) before joining Coughlin at Boston College. In addition to his coaching experience, Palmieri has taught physical education classes and written articles about strength and conditioning for national publications. Palmieri is a 1980 graduate of Montclair State University. He received a master’s degree in exercise physiology from North Carolina in 1984. Palmieri was a three-time New Jersey Golden Gloves champion (1976-78) and competed in international competitions as a member of the 1978 and 1979 USA Boxing Teams. He was honored as the 2007 Samson’s NFL Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. In 1999, Palmieri was honored by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society as Coach of the Year, and then in 2018, this organization presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a member of NY Giants’ staffs that won two Super Bowl Championships (2007 and 2011). Currently, Palmieri volunteers for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes advancing that ministry in North Jersey. He works closely with the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association to unify and provide professional education for the NFL Strength and Conditioning Coaches. He works closely with the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association to unify and provide professional education for the NFL Strength and Conditioning Coaches. He also speaks on topics of strength & conditioning and his faith, while also conducting workshops on Three Dimensional Coaching. Palmieri was raised in Dumont, N.J. He and his wife, Ellen, also a New Jersey native, have two children and one grandson.

2021 Annual Awards

Assistant College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Andrew Stocks, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Coach Stocks joined Augustana University in July 2015 as assistant strength and conditioning coach and is responsible for all aspects of the strength and conditioning program for softball, soccer, volleyball, track and field, and swimming while assisting with football. In his time at Augustana, Coach Stocks has been the strength and conditioning coach for two NCAA Division II National Championships, 17 All-Americans, 3 Academic All-Americans, 13 NSIC MVPs, and 2 NSIC Tournament Champions. Stocks came to the Vikings after spending over a year at the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY where he designed and implemented strength and speed programs for bobsled, skeleton, luge, and biathlon athletes. From 2011 through 2013, Stocks served as a graduate assistant at South Dakota State University where he oversaw strength and conditioning for swimming and diving, wrestling, golf, and tennis, while also working with all 21 Jackrabbit athletic teams. He earned a Master of Science degree in nutrition, exercise, and food sciences from SDSU in 2015. Coach Stocks also completed internships at the University of Missouri, the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, and the University of Michigan. Coach Stocks graduated with honors in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise and sport science with concentrations in strength & conditioning, and coaching competitive athletics. While at UW-L he assisted the strength and conditioning staff with all 17 varsity teams. Stocks was a member of the Eagles weightlifting club and continues to compete in both Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting in his free time.

College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Brian Thompson, PhD, CSCS,*D, RSCC*E

Dr. Thompson is the director of strength and conditioning, a professor of exercise science, and the graduate strength and conditioning program director at Springfield College where he has worked since 1998. He is responsible for overseeing the strength and conditioning program design and implementation for all 26 teams at Springfield College as well as teaching and advising. Dr. Thompson first started working in the field of strength and conditioning in 1986 and has trained athletes at all levels from youth to Olympic. He has given presentations and/or conducted strength and conditioning related workshops over 100 times in Australia, China, Mexico, Taiwan, and throughout the United States and is the first non-Chinese citizen to be appointed as an expert consultant to the Chinese National Fitness Trainers Committee. Dr. Thompson received his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois.

Educator of the Year: Paul Comfort, PhD, CSCS,*D

Dr. Paul Comfort is a Reader in Strength and Conditioning and programme leader for the MSc Strength and Conditioning at the University of Salford. He is also an adjunct professor at Edith Cowan University. Paul is a founder member and accredited member of the UKSCA and currently a board member of the NSCA. He has authored / co-authored >150 peer reviewed journal articles along with numerous book chapters.

High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Coach Sam Melendrez, MS, CSCS, RSCC*D

Sam Melendrez is in his 13th year as the full-time strength and conditioning coach at Discovery Canyon Campus High School in Colorado Springs, CO where he oversees the training of student-athletes from all sports in strength & conditioning classes during the day and in before and after school programs. Prior to making the decision to work in the high school setting Sam did internships at the Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid, was an assistant at the United States Air Force Academy and a graduate assistant at the University of New Mexico. Sam truly loves working with his athletes at Discovery Canyon, and sees his role as great opportunity to develop not only better athletes but better people. He and his wife Joni, have been happily married for 13 years and have two sons, Sammy 10 and Zachary 7.

Nutritional Research Achievement Award: Grant Tinsley, PhD, CSCS,*D

Dr. Grant Tinsley is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Energy Balance & Body Composition Laboratory at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. His primary research interests are the critical evaluation of body composition assessment techniques, the influence of intermittent fasting on resistance training adaptations, and sports nutrition strategies to improve performance and body composition. Tinsley has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, directed 10 externally supported projects, and won several awards for his research and teaching achievements. He has been a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist since 2013 and was recently recertified with distinction (CSCS,*D).

Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Paul Goodman, MS, CSCS, RSCC*E

Coach Goodman is in his 13th season with the Chicago Blackhawks as the head strength and conditioning coach. Goodman joined the Blackhawks after spending six years as director and head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Vermont (UVM). In 2006, the NSCA named Goodman the State/Provincial Director of the Year, and he also was a finalist for the NSCA's College Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year award. In addition to UVM, Goodman also spent time with Team USA Women's Hockey, the New York Rangers, and the women’s Canadian U-19 National Lacrosse Team. Goodman is a 1996 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and he received his first master's degree in Educational Administration in 2003 while serving as a member of the Badgers' strength and conditioning staff. He later completed a second master's degree in Applied Exercise Science from Concordia University-Chicago and is currently in pursuit of his PhD from Grand Canyon University, where his research is focused on performance psychology. Together with team physician Michael Terry, Goodman co-authored the book Hockey Anatomy, recently released through Human Kinetics. In addition, Goodman is a licensed massage therapist and served as an adjunct professor for the University of Vermont Exercise Science Department from 2003 to 2008. He is also the owner of Goodman Elite Training based out of Fifth Third Arena, the Chicago Blackhawks Community Ice Rink and team's official practice facility, specializing in athlete development.

Tactical Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year: Jay Dawes, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, TSAC-F,*D, FNSCA

Dr. Dawes is an Assistant Professor of Applied Exercise Science at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the Co-Director of the OSU Tactical Fitness and Nutrition Lab. He has worked as a strength/performance coach, personal trainer, educator, and post-rehabilitation specialist for over 20 years. His research is aimed at improving the health, fitness, and occupational performance of police, fire, and military personnel. Additionally, Dr. Dawes served on the NSCA Board of Directors' Executive Council as both Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer (2016-2019).

Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator: James Tufano, PhD, CSCS,*D

James Tufano is currently an Assistant Professor at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, where he teaches graduate courses in critical thinking, academic writing, and strength and conditioning. Although he would largely be described as a researcher who focuses on practical strength and conditioning topics, he enjoys supervising motivated research students who are truly interested in the scientific process and want to improve their critical thinking skills, regardless of their exact research interests. With this in mind, he trusts that having an open mind, a strong work ethic, and a positive attitude not only shapes the future of the individual, but also benefits the team of people around. Thus, he is honored to accept this award from the NSCA, as their mission is to collectively link science and practice in a way that the strength and conditioning field continues to grow.

William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist: Gregory D. Myer, PhD, FACSM, CSCS,*D

Gregory D. Myer, PhD, FACSM, CSCS,*D brings over two decades of experience to lead the activities at Emory Sports Performance And Research Center (SPARC) located at the Atlanta Falcons Flowery Branch headquarters. Dr. Myer previously supported the founding of and directed The SPORT Center and The Human Performance Laboratory in the Di-vision of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Myer has published over 415 medical manuscripts (h-Index Scopus: 72; Google Scholar: 105; Total Citations: >42,000) related to his research on injury biomechanics, human performance, pediatric exercise science, preventative medicine and sensorimotor neuroscience. Dr. Myer is recognized as an international leader in the field of injury prevention and human performance neuroscience and is and is commonly an invited keynote speaker to the national and international symposia. He has received numerous awards for his excellence in research and is currently certified with Distinction by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has been designated as a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Myer was the recipient of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Outstanding Alumnus Award and Franklin College Distinguished Alumni Award as a doctoral- and undergraduate-degree recipient, respectively. Dr. Myer is serving or has served as an investigator on several multi-million dollar federal and industry-sponsored grants in support of knee injury/concussion prevention and exercise training for performance and health research to his institutions.

2021 Service and Special Recognition Awards

JSCR Editorial Excellence Award: Haley Bergstrom, PhD, CSCS,*D

Haley Bergstrom received a B.S. (2009) in Exercise Science from Doane University, and a M.S. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. Her research explores questions related to the mathematical modeling of human performance and the non-invasive assessment of muscle function and fatigue. These methodologies are used to examine exercise and nutritional interventions to delay the onset and mitigate the effects of fatigue during anaerobic and aerobic exercise. This involves the non-invasive assessment of neuromuscular function and motor unit behavior, acute and chronic cardiovascular, metabolic, and perceptual responses to resistance, sprint, and endurance training, as well as and the effects of nutrition and dietary supplementation on health and human performance across the lifespan. She is a senior associate editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with distinction (CSCS*D) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

JSCR Editorial Excellence Award: Paul Cutrufello, PhD, ATC, CSCS

Paul Cutrufello is a Professor at The University of Scranton currently serving as chairperson and program director for the Department of Health and Human Performance and Kinesiology program, respectively. Previously served as the Head Athletic Trainer at The University of Scranton for 10 years. Earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University and Bloomsburg University, respectively, and later earned a doctorate from Marywood University. Has been a certified strength and conditioning specialist for 21 years and a certified athletic trainer for 25 years. Currently directs a community based learning project at The University of Scranton providing exercise programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Serves as a senior associate editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and a first editor for the British Journal of Nutrition.

SCJ Editorial Excellence Award: Whitney D. Leyva-Camberos, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, RSCC

Whitney D. Leyva-Camberos was born and raised in Fresno, California. She moved to beautiful Southern California where she received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton. While at the university, she then pursued her Masters in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning and graduated in 2016. She is one of 5 ladies who established the CSUF weightlifting club. She was also involved conducting physical evaluations with the Anaheim Ducks and other scientific research studies, while at the university. After she graduated, she worked as a lecturer for California State University, Fullerton Kinesiology and Public Health Departments, and was the Strength and Conditioning Coach for CSUF’s 16- time National Dance and Cheer team. Leyva-Camberos began working at Fresno Pacific in the spring of 2020 as a lecturer and assistant strength and conditioning coach for FPU’s swim and dive and water polo teams. But when she is not lecturing about kinesiology and health science, she is logging hours as the Southern California Director for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, where she helps to host conferences for the region. She has re-viewed multiple strength and conditioning publications and has published two of her own.

State/Provincial Director of the Year: Julia Dianne Carol Olsen, MS, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F

Julia Olsen is a Professor of Practice for the Public and Allied Health Sciences department at Delaware State University and adjuncts for Maryville University’s Exercise Science program. In the last year, she has worked with the military and fire populations, inspiring her to earn the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F) certification. The TSAC-F is in addition to her holding the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification, with distinction. Julia joined the Delaware State Advisory Board in 2014 and has attributed much of her success thus far to her involvement with the NSCA.

Outgoing Board Member: Bret Contreras, PhD, CSCS,*D

Dr. Contreras invented the barbell hip thrust; patented the Hip Thruster; created the Glute Loop and BC T-Bell; founded Glute Lab, BC Strength, and Booty by Bret; authored Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy; and co-authored Strong Curves and Glute Lab. Contreras’ primary research interests involve the gluteal muscles, resistance training biomechanics, and the functional transfer from resisted exercise to performance. Contreras is an international lecturer and author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles in strength and conditioning.

Outgoing Board Member: Colin Wilborn, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA

Dr. Wilborn is Executive Dean of the Mayborn College of Health Sciences and Professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles, abstracts, and book chapters on the effects of sport supplements and exercise on body composition, metabolism, and performance. He is a Fellow and has served as Vice President for the NSCA Board of Directors. He is also a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and editorial board member or reviewer for 10 Journals. Colin’s professional and personal interests include the effects resistance training and sport nutrition on health, body composition, and performance.
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