2022 Award Winners

Congratulations to the NSCA's 2022 award winners. This page will be updated throughout the year as new award winners are named.

2022 Career Award Recipients

Boyd Epley Award for Lifetime Achievement: Michael J. Nitka, MS, CSCS,*D, RSCC*E, FNSCA*E

Coach Nitka currently serves as an Adjunct staff member in the Exercise Science Department at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. Prior to serving at Carroll, he coached high school football and wrestling and taught at Mus-kego High School for 38 years...

Alvin Roy Award for Career Achievement: Mike Greenwood, PhD, FNSCA, CSCS,*D, FISSN, FACSM

Dr. Mike Greenwood’s career spanned over forty years as a coach, teacher, researcher, administrator, and leader in many professional and service organizations. He began his career teaching high school physical education and coaching football, track, and basketball...

NSCA Impact Award: Steve Bliss, MEd, CSCS, RSCC*E, FNSCA

Coach Bliss served as the first strength and conditioning coach at the University of Miami, The Ohio State University, and North Dakota State University. During his 50+ years in the industry, he has coached national champions and authored "Buckeye Football Fitness, 4th Down and One Rep to Go," which has been admitted the Jefferson Room at Library of Congress in Washington, DC...

2022 Tactical Annual Conference Award Recipients

Tactical Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year: Robin Orr, PhD, TSAC-F*D

Associate Professor Rob Orr served in the Australian Army for more than 23 years as an infantry soldier, Physical Training Instructor, uniformed physiotherapist, and human performance officer.

Tactical Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Joseph R. Kelleher, CSCS, TSAC-F

Joseph "Reilly" Kelleher currently serves as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska.

2022 National Conference Annual Award Recipients

Educator of the Year: David H. Fukuda, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA

Dr. David H. Fukuda is the Division Chair and an Associate Professor in the Division of Kinesiology at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He has proudly taught and mentored a large group of talented B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. students, including two university-level Outstanding Dissertation Award winners, over the course of his career, many of whom are actively involved with the NSCA.

High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Coach Richard C. Lansky, CSCS, RSCC*E

Coach Richard C. Lansky will be returning to Manatee High School this coming school year as the Strength and Conditioning Coach, and where he previously served as a PE Teacher, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Weightlifting Coach.

JSCR Editorial Excellence Award: Michael R. Deschenes, PhD

Michael R. Deschenes earned his PhD from the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut in 1992. He then proceeded to do his postdoctoral work in the Department of Physiology at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

JSCR Editorial Excellence Award: Margaret T. Jones, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA

Margaret T. Jones is a Professor of Sport, Recreation and Tourism Management, and an affiliate of the Center for Sports Performance at George Mason University. She is the Director of the Patriot Performance Laboratory in the Frank Pettrone Center for Sports Performance at George Mason University.

Nutritional Research Achievement Award: Adam M. Gonzalez, PhD, CSCS,*D

Dr. Adam M. Gonzalez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Allied Health and Kinesiology at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. He holds a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Central Florida along with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science and a master’s degree in Health Science Education from The College of New Jersey.

Personal Trainer of the Year: Vernon Griffith II, CSCS,*D

Vernon Griffith is an explorer, author, coach, father and husband. He owns and operates Performance Explored LLC and Co-owns The Strategic Initiative LLC where he works primarily with military special operations personnel, active duty and veterans, as well as professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB and extreme motorsports approaching the human body on a health to performance continuum.

State/Provincial Director of the Year: Whitney D. Leyva-Camberos, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, RSCC

Whitney D. Leyva-Camberos was born and raised in Fresno, California. She transferred out of Fresno Community College and received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton in 2013 before going on to receive her Master’s in 2016.

SCJ Editorial Excellence Award: Tom Cormier, MS, CSCS,*D, CSPS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D

Tom Cormier is an exercise professional who has his Master's Degree in Performance Science and has obtained multiple certifications including the NSCA’s CPT, CSCS, and CSPS as well as USA Weightlifting and Certified Kettle-bell Instructor.

Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator of the Year: Timothy Suchomel, PhD, CSCS,*D, RSCC

Dr. Suchomel is currently an Associate Professor of exercise science and the program director for the Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching graduate program at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. In addition to his teaching, he also the Director of the Carroll University Sport Performance Institute (CUSPI) and works as a Human Performance Coach with several teams.

William J. Kraemer Outstanding Sport Scientist of the Year: Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA

Dr. Abbie E. Smith-Ryan is a Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, where she serves as the Director of the Applied Physiology Lab. She is also an affiliate faculty in the Departments of Nutrition and Allied Health Sciences.

Outgoing Board Member: Helen Binkley, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA

Dr. Helen Binkley is completing her second, three-year-term on the Board of Directors. Dr. Binkley is an Associate Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Athletic Training Program at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and her areas of expertise include aquatic research, strength training and conditioning, and emergency response in athletic training. Helen is a Fellow with the NSCA, and she has held numerous volunteer positions with the Association and Foundation besides her longstanding Board service.

Outgoing Board Member: Darnell Clark, MPE, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D

Darnell Clark is a lecturer and the graduate school sports performance practicum coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. From 2004-2022 he served as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he and his staff were responsible for the daily development and systematic implementation for 70 teams in 24 sports. Under his direction, Charlotte Country Day earned the NSCA’s Strength of America Award for the last 10 consecutive years. And in 2014, Darnell was the recipient of the NSCA’s High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award. Mr. Clark’s service to the NSCA has also included roles as a State Director and Regional Coordinator. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education degree in Kinesiology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Undergraduate Student Research Award for Outstanding Poster Abstract Presentation: Elise Choquette

Elise Choquette is a senior at Creighton University. She is pursuing a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Science and Medicine in Society. Elise’s research is focused on differences in force and force production in older adults and adults with Parkinson’s Disease. It is performed under the guidance of Mitchel Magrini (PHD, CSCS, *D, NSCA-CPT, *D). and Kelly Hammond (PHD, CSCS). Upon graduation, she plans to attend a Doctor of Physical Therapy program and continue research.

Master’s Student Research Award for Outstanding Poster Abstract Presentation: Amanda Gordon, MA, CSCS

Amanda Gordon is from Colorado Springs, CO. She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a minor in Spanish, and most recently from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with her masters. At UNC she worked in the Applied Physiology Lab under Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan, studying exercise performance, nutrition and metabolism. She is now working with the Boston Red Sox organization as a Sports Science Associate.

Doctoral Student Research Award for Outstanding Poster Abstract Presentation: Trevor Dufner

Trevor Dufner is a first year doctoral student under Dr. Adam Wells at the University of Central Florida. While Trevor’s future is always open to new possibilities, he hopes to begin to hone his scope of practice towards investigations into understanding the immune system and the role it plays in muscle damage repair. Trevor hopes to further investigate the nuances of the cellular repair cascade in order to better understand tissue recovery for the sake of expediting athlete and general population training or post-operative recovery timelines and more efficiently restoring functional strength and power.

Doctoral Student Research Award for Outstanding Podium Abstract Presentation: Christopher Cleary

Christopher “CJ” Cleary is entering his third year as a PhD student in Exercise Physiology at the University of Kansas, primarily working at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus under the mentorship of Dr. Ashley Herda. Originally from Wakefield, MA, CJ completed his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of New Hampshire. His research interests include using noninvasive modalities to track skeletal muscle and body composition changes after orthopedic surgeries such as anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, sport performance, blood flow restriction training, and ultrasound imaging.

Master’s Student Research Award for Outstanding Podium Abstract Presentation Winner: Conor Cantwell, CSCS

Conor completed his undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Limerick. While completing his undergraduate degree, Conor worked with professional rugby club Munster Rugby serving in a variety of roles including underage Athletic Development Coach and Senior Athletic Performance Intern with the professional team. Conor has also served as the Head of Strength and Conditioning for Division 1 amateur rugby team Garryowen FC, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for National Center of Limerick High Performance Swim Team, and as an intern at the East Tennessee State University Olympic Training Site. Conor is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Conor is currently completing his Masters at Carroll University in Sport Physiology and Performance Coaching while also working as a graduate assistant at Carroll University Sport Performance Institute under the mentorship of Dr Tim Suchomel. Conor is also a strength and conditioning coach for both Men's and Women's soccer teams at Carroll.

2022 Coaches Conference Award Recipients

Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Dan Dalrymple, CSCS, RSCC*E

Accepting the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award is Dan Dalrymple, CSCS, RSCC*E. Dan Dalrymple has been the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for New Orleans Saints (NFL) since 2006...

College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Liane Blyn, MS, CSCS, RSCC*E

Liane Blyn has over 20 years of experience as a strength coach, athletic trainer, business owner and world class competitor in Powerlifting and Strongwoman. She is currently the Director of Sports Performance for Olympic Sports at Arizona State University (ASU)...

Assistant College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year: Ryan Metzger, MS, CSCS, RSCC

Ryan Metzger is currently in her third year as the Senior Assistant of Olympic Sports Strength and Conditioning at Clemson University. She is directly responsible for the strength and conditioning efforts of softball and women's soccer, as well as directly overseeing the volunteer intern program...
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