Anyhoot, I thought who best to kick off these series than the one and only, my fave coach of all time, the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Cornhuskers... my HUBS!
Name: MARK PHILIPP
Career: HEAD STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH, UNL
Sport Played: FOOTBALL
Q // While you were in high school and college, did you ever imagine that you would be a Head Strength and Conditioning Coach?
Never in my wildest dreams! I thought I was going to be a football coach, but not in the Strength and Conditioning department. There were some complications and life situations that changed up my path in life. I ended up going back home, and felt a bit lost. I worked in construction and eventually started coaching my brother's team in high school. I started participating in the weight training activities with their after school workouts, and during PE period, which I really enjoyed. In hindsight, when I played ball in high school, I think there was a trend in joining the after school programs just so we can lift weights. I guess I've always been interested in weight lifting, but didn't explore it until the opportunity arose.Q // How did you get started?
Coaching high school football lead me to meet up with one of my old strength coaches in college who was working at Oregon State University at the time. He asked if I would be interested in an internship opportunity and of course I took him up on that offer. I guess you can say it's good karma… from there I interned at OSU and tried to learn from everyone there… I just jumped into it ASAP. I wasn't scared to be vocal or ask and learn about anything or try something new.
From there, I was fortunate to land a full-time Assistant Strength Coach position at OSU, then moved back home to LA where I soon became an Assistant Strength Coach at USC. Which lead me to my current career as the Head Strength Coach for Husker Nation!Q // Is there any other profession that you would be interested in?
One day, I would like to be an Athletic Director in the future. I'd like to see things ADs do to help the kids out, and seeing things work from the ground level and what's needed on a daily basis.Q // What's the secret recipe to being a good coach?
Building relationships with the student athletes…. Not just about football or training. I want to know how they're doing on a daily basis, how their classwork is going, get their input on the program and be an advocate for them. Building trust is important for me so they're not afraid to voice opinions. I want them to feel empowered and confident in what they do and have them realize that we're doing this together.Q // What's the ONE thing you would recommend for college graduates to find their passion after playing ball?
I always recommend coaching to everyone.. not just with football. These kids have always been a role model, always been through adversity… and I think if they pursue a career where they can influence people is a great thing. They've been playing since pop-warner through high school and college. There's always someone looking up to you as a football player, and you always have to set a good example, which ultimately can be done through coaching.