An Interview with Brian Remington, M.S., C.S.C.S

Empty interview chairBrian Remington is in his third season as a member of the University of Buffalo sports performance staff. Brian is a recent recipient of his Master’s degree in Applied Physiology at UB in 2007 and a 2005 graduate of Northern Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in nutrition.

Currently, Remington is responsible for assisting with all aspects of Football strength and Conditioning as well as designing and implementing programs for Men’s Soccer, Baseball and Men’s and Women’s Tennis. A native of Arvada, CO, Remington began his collegiate career at Adams State in Alamosa, CO where he played football until suffering a career-ending knee injury. He went on to work as an undergraduate assistant in the strength and conditioning department at Northern Colorado in the winter and spring of 2005, working with all the Bears’ teams, including the women’s tennis team that won the 2005 NCAA Division I Independent Championship. Remington also served as a sports performance intern at Arizona State in the summer of 2005, working primarily with the Sun Devils’ nationally-ranked football team. Remington is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He was also Colorado’s state power lifting champion in 2001 at the 220-pound weight class.

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Brian. Start us off by talking a bit about how you got into your current position, and what exactly that position is.

Initially I volunteered my time as a senior at the University of Northern Colorado. It was a smaller school (D2) and they only had one strength coach so he was willing to give me a lot of responsibility very quickly. I had a good background in strength training being a former athlete and competitive power lifter so I picked things up quickly. The largest obstacle to overcome when you go into coaching is the communication aspect, people discount that quite a bit. You may have all of the answers and plenty of knowledge but if you can’t convey your expectations to your athletes in a manner they can both respect and relate to, it’s very tough being a coach. From there my boss, Ty Peterson, recommended me to do a summer internship at Arizona State University under the tutelage of Joe “Big House” Kenn. I went down there to work all summer for no pay, no housing or anything except college credit. Luckily I have great parents who were willing to support me, and it turned out to be a great learning experience. I learned more in the 3 months I was there than I had in the previous 18 years of my life. His internship program throws everything at you that you will experience as a strength coach (early rising at 4 AM, working sometimes to 8 PM, deadlines, working in high pressure, fast paced environment, coaching your ass off, constant cleaning and upkeep of their awesome 15,000 sq. ft. facility, set up and tear down of all equipment for all sessions, educational staff meetings, presentations, and doing the same workouts the players do, etc). I truly believe that if you can swallow that “strength coaching concentrate” for a whole summer and still want to be a strength coach afterwards, you are one of few. After a tough summer I earned a recommendation to become a Graduate Assistant here at the University at Buffalo where I’m currently working. I held that GA position for 2 years and earned my Master’s degree. During that time I worked under 3 great strength coaches (Cheyenne Pietri, Buddy Morris, and Ryan Groneman), all of whom I owe a great deal to and respect highly.

Did you find that your college education adequately prepared you for the work you’re currently doing? What aspects did, and where did it fall short?

Yes and No. I feel it is important to understand the body, its structures and metabolism, its vital to have that foundation of knowledge. What I find very interesting, however, is that you can get a bachelors, masters, and certification all without having ever stepped foot in a weight room. As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s true! For my profession most of my knowledge has come from training myself and being a former athlete. Yes, I do read daily and I have the education to back it up but if I’m looking to hire an assistant I’m not only looking for the formal education, but “under the bar experience” as well as playing experience are just as important. Also, as I noted above, communication is huge and if you train yourself and have been through similar experiences as your athletes, it is much easier to communicate and relate to them and you’ll find their respect for you will be much higher. This makes it much easier for them to buy in to what you’re selling.

Where do you see yourself going in the field, 5, 10 years?

My ultimate goal is to be a head strength coach for a professional team (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB). I would like that to come true within ten years. I would also be just as happy being a Head D1 strength coach. All I ever wanted to do was to help athletes achieve better performance, so even if I’m in some hole in the wall gym making nothing I’ll still be happy.

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