It is with great honor that I write to you to express my strong and enthusiastic support for Mr. Jonathan Moore's scholarship nomination through the CSCCa. I have known Jonathan for the past year as his direct supervisor at Lamar University. Without hesitation he took a financial risk of moving from Texas to Maine to initiate his secondary education and chase his dream of competing at the collegiate level in basketball. Although this dream didn't pan out he was knowingly chasing another career opportunity...Strength and Conditioning. He showed up at my office in the Summer of 2018 offering his services in the form of a voluntary internship for the next two years. That spark of interest has now spread like a wild fire. I quickly discovered he lives, eats, and breathes strength and conditioning to the point that he works the bare minimum hours at a part-time job to pay his bills so that all of his remaining free time can be spent learning and developing in the weight room.
In my 13 years of experience in the field of strength and conditioning I have seen no other intern invest by more than doubling his assigned hours while still bringing a positive outlook daily regardless of the life challenges he faces. One of those challenges includes balancing time spent with his Father whose terminal illness leaves his days numbered. Jonathan never uses this as an excuse or allows his emotions to be affected in the weight room, but rather teaches him the importance of maximizing each relationship. He creates long-lasting memories and optimism through bringing a smile and enthusiasm to his family, our staff, the student-athletes and even the administration on a daily basis.
Although an intern, he is performing the balancing act of a typical Graduate Assistant including a full academic load, designing sound sport-specific lifting and conditioning programs (intern curriculum), leading small Olympic sport teams, a part-time job and several other behind the scenes job duties including weight room upkeep. No task is too big or too small for Jonathan, he takes the same pride and detail in each assignment from leading the Women's Golf team, to coaching Olympic lifting technique for Football, to restocking the supplements. Considering the heavy academic and coaching demands of the position, this speaks volumes to Jonathan's determination and can-do attitude that is on display in all aspects of his life. Jonathan's ability to excel at every one of these components is a rare and impressive feat. Regularly operating on 5-6 hours of sleep, he still trains every team with unwavering intensity and discipline. His time management skills and ability to respond quickly to change are constantly on display. The instant I need a team or student-athlete covered, he doesn't hesitate to step up. He has become in irreplaceable asset to our program.
With all that Jonathan has accomplished in the classroom and weight room, his best personality trait is his contagious positive demeanor that the student-athletes feed off of. He has made relationship building look easy, as the student-athletes he trains trust and believe in his coaching and knowledge. I believe Jonathan is a future leader in the field of Strength & Conditioning. I recommend Jonathan Moore without reservation as you consider him for the CSCCa Scholarship.
Aaron Hall reflects all of the attributes this award recognizes. I believe this because I had the opportunity to become acquainted with Lance. Lance’s father Al and my mentor John Stucky were friends. Because of this friendship, I have seen videos of Lance’s Olympic lifting training sessions and it is due to this familiarity, I feel extremely confident that Aaron Hall is a perfect fit for this award.
Aaron, much like Lance, has an unbelievable passion for Olympic lifting. In my 30 years of coaching, he is the best I have ever had on my staff. This passion and expertise is infectious. Just recently he has started training one of our standout senior swimmers as a competitive Olympic lifter. She just finished her eligibility and her exposure to the Olympic lifting by Aaron, who was her strength coach, fueled a passion to move into becoming a competitive Olympic lifter.
Aaron’s journey to become a collegiate strength and conditioning coach started at the University of UTEP where he was a graduate assistant for two years. He left UTEP and worked for eight months as a volunteer strength and conditioning coach at LSU with Tommy Moffitt. When I was looking to fill a GA/Paid Intern position, Tommy gave Aaron the highest recommendation he could give, so I hired him. Tommy was right. He is the most polished, qualified, proficient person I have ever hired into one these positions in my 20 years as a head strength coach. Aaron will be sitting for the test this year and I know that those who test him in the practicum portion will see what both Coach Moffitt and I have seen; a future star in this profession.
Aaron’s coaching duties at New Mexico State University include assisting with football and baseball, and independently coaching track and swimming. Another responsibility that Aaron administrates is the enhanced meals each evening for football. As with most non-power five schools, we do not have a nutritionist. Our enhanced meal is served in a back room of the campus cafeteria. Aaron takes attendance at this meal and he is responsible for replacing the empty catering trays, so that the food stays fresh and hot for the players. He handles this responsibility with great care. No job too big and no job too small.
Being a collegiate strength and conditioning coach is not just what he wants to do for a living; it is who he is. He has worked for very little pay at two universities and at one for free. He has proven that no amount of pay is too low to do this job, as well as; no task is too small or menial. He is what I, as a Master Strength Coach, want the future of this profession to be built on. This $1,500 award will be greatly appreciated by Aaron, and it will be obviously helpful to a young coach who has made very little money so far in this business. But bigger than that, the Lance Vermeil award will be well represented. Thanks for your consideration.