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) to recognize their dedication to improving athletic performance with safe and effective science-based programs.

Congratulations to our 2024 winner!

Brijesh Patel, MA, CSCS, RSCC*E

Brijesh Patel joined Quinnipiac University in August 2008 as the Athletic Department's Head Strength and Conditioning Coach. Patel previously held the title of Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was a Graduate Assistant at the University of Connecticut. Coach Patel earned both his Bachelor’s in Finance Management and Master’s in Kinesiology and Sport Management from the University of Connecticut. While Patel primarily works with the men’s and women’s basketball and ice hockey teams at Quinnipiac, he also oversees the strength and conditioning development for all 21 varsity sports. Patel is also an author and speaker on programming and nutrition. Currently, Patel and his wife Anna reside with their children Talin and Maya in Hamden, Connecticut.

Read the Press Release

Award Eligibility

Current NSCA Member
NSCA Membership - Minimum 2 years*
NSCA CSCS Certification 
Head College Strength and Conditioning Coach – DI, II, III, NAIA
Three years as a Head College Strength and Conditioning Coach
Not a previous recipient

*Consecutive membership is counted back from the date the award is to be conferred.

Additional requirements listed in the General Awards Criteria, include but not limited to, the nominee must be nominated by a member in good standing and nominees will be sent a criteria sheet to fill out that must be returned with cover letter and CV/resume before the required deadline. 

Past Award Recipients Include:

2023 - Dan Wirth, MA, CSCS  
2022 - Liane Blyn, MS, CSCS, RSCC*E  
2021 - Brian Thompson, PhD, CSCS,*D, RSCC*E  
2019 - Robert H. Jones, CSCS,*D, RSCC*E  Epley, Jones, Triplett
2018 - Matthew Nein, MS, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D  Haff, Nein, Epley
2017 - Jeff Connors, CSCS, RSCC*E  Caulfield, Epley Connors, Haff
2016 - Ron McKeefery, MA, CSCS, *D, RSCC  Haff, McKeffery, Epley, Caulfield
2015 - Douglas Smith, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, USAW, RSCC*E, Juniata College 1994 - Tom Cross, University of Oklahoma
2014 - Shannon Turley, CSCS, RSCC, Stanford University 1993 - Michael J. Clark, Texas A&M University
2013 - Andrea Hudy, CSCS, RSCC*D, University of Kansas 1992 - Rick Huegli, Jr, MEd, CSCS, University of Washington
2012 - Michael W. Favre, MEd, CSCS,*D, RSCC*D, University of Michigan 1991 - Steve Bliss, MEd, CSCS, RSCC, North Dakota State University
2010 - Jonathan Jost, CSCS, RSCC*E, Florida State University 1990 - John Garhammer, PhD, CSCS, NSCA- CPT, FNSCA, California State University at Long Beach
2009 - Jeff Reinardy, CSCS, Winona State University 1989 - Dan Wathen, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT*D, FNSCA Youngstown State University
2008 - Sara L. Wiley, MS, CSCS, University of Minnesota at Twin Cities 1988 - Bill Allerheiligen, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT*D, FNSCA University of Wyoming
2007 - Michael Rankin, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Drexel University 1987 - Doug Semenick, University of Louisville
2006 - Robert dos Remedios, MA, CSCS, College of the Canyons 1986 - Bruno Pauletto, CSCS, FNSCA, University of Tennessee
2005 - Michael Doscher, CSCS, Valdosta State University 1985 - John Gamble, University of Virginia
2004 - Gerard J. Martin, CSCS,*D, University of Connecticut 1984 - Thomas Baechle, EdD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT*D, Creighton University
2003 - Allen Hedrick, CSCS, Air Force Academy 1983 - Bill Dunn, University of Virginia
2002 - Joseph Kenn, CSCS,*D, Arizona State University 1982 - George Dostal, Clemson University
2001 - John Taylor, CSCS,*D, New Mexico State University 1981 - Keith Kephart, University of Kansas
2000 - Roger Marandino, CSCS, Brown University 1980 - Boyd Epley, MEd, CSCS,*D, FNSCA, RSCC*E, University of Nebraska
1999 - Jim Kramer, University of Northern Iowa  
1998 - Tony Decker, University of Delaware  
1997 - Dwight Daub, University of Utah  
1995 - Steven Scott Plisk, James Madison University  

How is the recipient selected?

1. The NSCA will market and solicit nominees from NSCA membership.
2. Additional award nominees may be recommended by the NSCA Coaching Program Manager based on recommendations by SPD, SIG, and other NSCA Volunteer Program Leaders.
3. Nominees must meet the General Award Criteria requirements.
4. Nominees must meet the Eligibility Requirements stated in the Criteria Sheet of the award to be considered.
5. The nominee shall provide the completed criteria sheet, cover letter, resume or CV, and supporting documentation of involvement, activities and awards to the NSCA National Headquarters by the requested deadline.

Selection Process:

1. The process for selection shall be as follows:
    a. Nominations must be received before the established deadline.
    b. NSCA Headquarters will verify eligibility requirements and overall points for nominees have been met.
    c. Qualified nominees will be notified.
        i. If there are no qualifying nominees, the award will not be given.
    d. Top three nominees based on points for each award will be sent to the Coaching (RSCC) Task Force.
    e. The Coaching (RSCC) Task Force will vote for the winner.

2. The Coaching (RSCC) Task Force:
    a. The Task Force will be volunteers selected yearly by the Coaching Program Manager.
    b. It will be apparent that the Task Force is impartial to the nominees.
    c. The Task Force will be comprised of >50% non-coaching award recipients and <50% past coaching award recipients.
    d. For the HS Coach of the Year Award voting, members of the HS SIG Executive Council will be included in the Task Force.
    e. The Coaching Program Manager will certify that the policies and procedures for the nomination and awarding process were followed as outlined herein.
    f. The Coaching Program Manager will submit the winners’ names to the Awards and Honors Committee Chair for review and approval.

3. The Awards and Honors Committee Chair will
    a. Notify the Board of Directors of the recipient.

4. The NSCA Headquarters will:
    a. Notify the recipients of the award.
    b. Send regret notifications.
    c. Create a Press Release and online announcement of the winners.
    d. Will verify attendance at the Coaches Conference Opening Ceremony or the National Conference Awards Banquet.

#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

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