Last May, the Ithaca College Department of Intercollegiate Athletics hired Vic Brown for its newly created strength and conditioning head coach position. Brown took over the position at the beginning of the semester and has since been overseeing the strength and conditioning programs for Bomber varsity sports teams. He also fulfills a host of other responsibilities that include collaborating with varsity coaches and supervising exercise science and athletic training students.
Assistant Sports Editor Kristen Gowdy sat down with Brown to discuss his past experiences with strength and conditioning, his qualifications for the new position and his goals for the Blue and Gold athletic programs.
Kristen Gowdy: What is your background in training athletes?
Vic Brown: I did my undergrad in athletic training and sports medicine and started on that side of things at Springfield College and worked with a number of the athletic programs there. I was always interested in the field of strength and conditioning, more the practical application and the sport performance side of things. I also played [Division III] baseball there, so as an undergrad I was always around athletics and spent time in the varsity weight room as an athlete. I spent two years working as an athletic trainer and realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, so I went back and got my master’s degree in exercise science. I did an internship at Boston University in between my grad years, then my first summer out of grad school I spent with the Oakland A’s in their organization working for the Kane County Cougars. The last 10 years, I went back to Boston University as the associate head [of strength and conditioning].
KG: What appealed to you about the position at Ithaca College?
VB: It was a very unique opportunity here at Ithaca College to combine both working with undergraduate students and providing them with a student-centered learning experience and guiding them and building a strength and conditioning program here. In the past, the coaches here have done so many different things and getting everybody under the same umbrella as to how we are going to train Ithaca College athletes, because Ithaca College has long had a reputation of academic excellence, excellence on the field, on the court, excellence in the community and really that aligns very well with the philosophy I came from at BU.
KG: What do you think you bring to the position?
VB: I think I bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in the area of strength and conditioning and many diverse experiences. I bring the sports medicine side to it as well as the sports performance side to it in helping train our athletes. I spent the last four or five years at BU running our internship program, so I bring that piece to it as well in understanding where our graduate student is and our undergraduate student is in their development and helping provide structure to that.
KG: What are your goals for the teams here at Ithaca College?
VB: First, I think we have a long-term plan. Right now, my philosophy in sport training revolves around keeping athletes healthy. If we can keep the athletes healthy, then they’re going to get in the weight room and get stronger and get the benefits to support their work on the track or on the field hockey field or on the football field. If they’re healthy, they can help their team and get to play their sport and get better at their sport. So first and foremost, they’re here for academics and with their athletic experience combining that too, so we are really trying to put them in the best possible position to succeed in both. We are looking to build the foundation for the future and put a structure into place for the students and give them the quality of coaching in here that we do on the field. We view this as an extension of practice.