I stand before you, honored and humbled, forever grateful for all of the Friends, Colleagues, Sponsors, and Vendors in attendance tonight sharing in the Fellowship of Strength.
I would like to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to my beloved wife, Jill, and our three beautiful children: Delaney, Zachary, and Jacob. Jill, I am forever grateful for your love and support, your sacrifice and resolve, and your insight and wisdom. The success and stature of my career has truly only been possible because of your inspiring presence in my life. I honor you tonight.
I am proud to be the son of Public School Teachers, and a Football Coach, with over 65 years of combined service to others. My first Strength Coach was my Dad, who taught me to love and respect the Iron Game in the basement of our home in Eden, North Carolina. To my Mom, Dad, and Brother, I am forever grateful for your life of service, your humility, your continued support, and your constant love. I honor you tonight.
During my 22-year association with the field of Strength and Conditioning, I have been extremely fortunate to have been mentored, inspired, and befriended by a "Who's Who" of Strength and Sport Coaches.
During my playing tenure at the University of North Carolina from 1992-1994, I was trained and inspired by Rich Tuten, Greg Saporta, Ben Cook, Jeff Madden, George Smith, and Ken Sheppard. Thank you, Coaches. I honor you tonight.
The genesis of my Strength and Conditioning career began as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Tennessee from 1997-1999. John Stucky was a powerful and gentle guiding presence in my early development years. As you never stray far from my thoughts, thank you for your belief and trust in me Coach Stucky. To Tom Moffitt, Tony Ollison, Chris Carlisle, Johnny Long, Noel Durfey, Eric Ciano, Chris Stewart, and Aaron Ausmus: Thank you, Coaches. I honor you tonight.
As an Intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1999-2000, I had the privilege and honor to train under, and work alongside, Mark Asanovich, Aaron Komarek, and Les Ebert. With Ron McKeefery, I started to strengthen lifelong friendships in the field. Thank you, Coaches and Friends. I honor you tonight.
I have looked up to, and admired, Ed Ellis and Scott Sinclair, since joining their staff as an Assistant Coach at Wake Forest University from 2000-2004. Our short time together remains the most memorable time of my career for a multitude of professional and personal reasons. With a transition in Strength Staff personnel, I also spent time working under, and alongside, Ethan Reeve and Mike Tolloti. Thank you, Coaches. I honor you tonight.
As an Assistant Coach at the University of South Carolina from 2004-2007, my "Family Tree" of Strength Coaches began to include Pat Moorer, Dan Austin, Billy Anderson, Mike Golden, Alissa Goldman, and Jon Vaden. Thank you, Coaches. I honor you tonight.
As a first time Head Coach at High Point University from 2007-2009, I was proud to become involved in the CSCCa as an Approved Mentor. Thank you to my Volunteer Interns, who studied under me for the SCCC Certification: Erica Brockmyer, Adam Clark, and Cori Dayton. I honor you tonight.
Finally, as the Head Coach at Xavier University since 2009, I would like to recognize and thank Assistant Coaches Cori Dayton, Jake Dyslin, and Rich Jacobs, as well as College of Mount Saint Joseph's Head Coach Brent Rogers, for their friendship, loyalty, and dedication. Thank you, Coaches. I honor you tonight.
In closing, for the creation and expansion of this wonderful organization of like-minded professionals, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. Stiggins, the Founding Members, and the Board of Directors for their collective vision, shared sacrifice, and resolute leadership. You have fostered an association of Strength and Conditioning Coaches, professionals becoming respected people of learning and reflection, integrity, and achievement, in solidarity FOR and WITH others. To all in attendance tonight, I honor you for sharing in the Fellowship of Strength. Thank you.