College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award

The College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award is given to an outstanding Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS) with RSCC distinction to recognize their dedication to improving athletic performance with safe and effective science-based programs.

Congratulations to our 2018 winner!

Matthew Nein, MS, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D!

In his 14th year as the Coordinator of Sports Performance at Salisbury University, Coach Nein oversees the training programs of 21 varsity teams, three graduate assistants, and an intern and volunteer staff of about 10. During his tenure as Coordinator of Sports Performance, Coach Nein has had the opportunity to work with 12 National Championship teams, eight individual National Championship athletes, and over 300 All-Americans. Coach Nein serves on the NSCA Advisory Board for the State of Delaware and is the chair for the NSCA Lacrosse Special Interest Group (SIG). While not training athletes, he manages all indoor recreational facilities and serves as an Adjunct Instructor in the Applied Health Physiology Department at Salisbury University. Alongside his brother, Brad, he is the co-creator and writer for the blog, This informational blog is dedicated to enhancing the experiences that coaches, parents, and athletes have while participating in sports.

Nominations will open again in September.

Matthew Nein Photo
Matthew Nein Photo

Award Eligibility

Current CSCS certification and Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) distinction
Be a current member for two consecutive years
Head S&C coach at Division I, II, III, NAIA or Junior College
Shall not have previously won this award
Nominated by a current member

Additionally, all nominees must also qualify using a criteria sheet (PDF download) and submit a cover letter, resume/CV, and supporting documentation to Qualifying nominees will be asked for media/public relations/communication officer contact information, a high resolution head shot (1MB or larger), a short bio, Twitter handle (optional), and a signed media release

Past Award Recipients Include:

2017 - Jeff Connors, CSCS, RSCC*E 1998 - Tony Decker, University of Delaware
2016 - Ron McKeefery, MA, CSCS, *D, RSCC 1997 - Dwight Daub, University of Utah
2015 - Douglas Smith, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, USAW, RSCC*E, Juniata College 1995 - Steven Scott Plisk, James Madison University
2014 - Shannon Turley, CSCS, RSCC, Stanford University 1994 - Tom Cross, University of Oklahoma
2013 - Andrea Hudy, CSCS, RSCC*D, University of Kansas 1993 - Michael J. Clark, Texas A&M University
2012 - Michael W. Favre, MEd, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D, University of Michigan 1992 - Rick Huegli, Jr, MEd, CSCS, University of Washington
2010 - Jonathan Jost, CSCS, RSCC*E, Florida State University 1991 - Steve Bliss, MEd, CSCS, RSCC, North Dakota State University
2009 - Jeff Reinardy, CSCS, Winona State University 1990 - John Garhammer, PhD, CSCS, NSCA- CPT, FNSCA, California State University at Long Beach
2008 - Sara L. Wiley, MS, CSCS, University of Minnesota at Twin Cities 1989 - Dan Wathen, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT*D, FNSCA Youngstown State University
2007 - Michael Rankin, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Drexel University 1988 - Bill Allerheiligen, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT*D, FNSCA University of Wyoming
2006 - Robert dos Remedios, MA, CSCS, College of the Canyons 1987 - Doug Semenick, University of Louisville
2005 - Michael Doscher, CSCS, Valdosta State University 1986 - Bruno Pauletto, CSCS, FNSCA, University of Tennessee
2004 - Gerard J. Martin, CSCS,*D, University of Connecticut 1985 - John Gamble, University of Virginia
2003 - Allen Hedrick, CSCS, Air Force Academy 1984 - Thomas Baechle, EdD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT*D, Creighton University
2002 - Joseph Kenn, CSCS,*D, Arizona State University 1983 - Bill Dunn, University of Virginia
2001 - John Taylor, CSCS,*D, New Mexico State University 1982 - George Dostal, Clemson University
2000 - Roger Marandino, CSCS, Brown University 1981 - Keith Kephart, University of Kansas
1999 - Jim Kramer, University of Northern Iowa 1980 - Boyd Epley, MEd, CSCS,*D, FNSCA, RSCC*E, University of Nebraska

How is the recipient selected?

  1. All nominee criteria sheets are reviewed by the NSCA Awards Staff Liaison for minimum eligibility requirements.
    • Any nominee not meeting the minimum eligibility requirements are notified by NSCA with the requirement not met.
  2. NSCA Awards Staff Liaison reviews, against NSCA records, the NSCA involvement sections of the nominee criteria sheets who have met the minimum eligibility requirements.
    • Items not able to be verified through record or supporting documentation are noted.
    • Nominee criteria sheet points are not changed to reflect any items unable to be verified.
  3. Once the review of all nominees are complete, an application packet containing the cover letter, CV/Resume, supporting documentation, and criteria sheet of each applicate are submitted to the Awards Task Force Liaison.
  4. The Awards Task Force Liaison reviews the packet and separates out the top three nominees bases on points.
  5. The nominees are submitted to the Awards Task Force for vote.
  6. Votes are collected by the Awards Task Force Liaison, who shall not vote.
  7. The Awards Task Force Liaison will tally the vote and submit it to the Awards Staff Liaison.
  8. The Awards Staff Liaison will send out regret and congratulation notifications.
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