Managing 350 varsity athletes on a daily basis is no small feat, but Kevin Cronin, Colorado College’s strength and conditioning coach, has the weight room on lock. Instilling fear in some athletes and admiration in others, Cronin whips them into shape for the season.
Claire Tobin: Where are you from, and how long have you been the strength and conditioning coach?
Kevin Cronin: I’m from Santa Cruz, California. I moved to Colorado Springs in January of 2011 and have been here ever since. I started at Colorado College in the fall of 2012. We had just finished 27 million dollars’ worth of renovations, and hiring a full-time strength and conditioning coach was part of that package.
CT: How did you get into this field originally?
KC: I went to Sonoma State for my undergrad degree, and I was interested in athletic training. Unfortunately, the state school system in California was run by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and there were some cuts, and the athletic training program for Sonoma State got cut. I played two years of collegiate soccer, started working in the gold business, and ended up writing a strength and conditioning program for a men’s and women’s golf team.
CT: What is the most rewarding part of working at CC?
KC: Our kids have really grasped onto structure. When I first started here, people didn’t see this as a part of their experience, and now it’s great to see kids commit to our program. It’s great to see everyone’s success within the framework of their sports.
CT: How do you maintain such great order in the weight room?
KC: We’ve learned a lot. We went from having 12 racks to now having 18. We went from having 300 kids to now having 350. Logistics are a big deal, and we spend a lot of time thinking about what we can do for each team when there are 60 kids in here. The objective is that every team has a program that fits their developmental level, so we do a lot of planning.
CT: What is the hardest part about working here?
KC: I’d say being under-staffed. My wife would say the hours. I get here at 5:30 a.m. and don’t get home until 6:30 p.m. It’s only Dylan Ward and myself in the afternoons because Steven is full-time with ice hockey.
CT: What is your workout schedule like?
KC: I workout Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to about 9:45 a.m.. I dabble in spin classes with my wife because she teaches spin, and I’ve also taken two yoga classes recently. I train pretty similarly to everyone else.
CT: What is your favorite post-workout meal?
KC: I eat hash browns, chorizo, and eggs, usually with a little bit of cheese and sriracha.
CT: What is something you wish people knew before coming in the weight room door?
KC: Sometimes the teams do a good job of telling the first-years about how things work in here, but sometimes they don’t. I wish kids knew they should be on time. It’s just an expectation in here.
CT: Are there certain teams that are more challenging than others?
KC: Every team poses its own challenges. Sometimes teams struggle with attendance or paying attention to the sheet, but everyone has their own level of challenge, some greater than others.
CT: Is there anything you’d like to change in the weight room?
KC: We have a great space, but what I dream about is expanding the weight room, so we can move some cardio equipment in and move some new racks in. We get 350 kids through the door in about seven hours, and more space could help how everything runs.