There’s a new face and fresh attitude this year in the Varsity Training Center on campus.
Chris Duguay has been hired as the new strength and conditioning coach for several teams — baseball and both the men’s and women’s rowing, track and swimming teams. However, Duguay will still be involved with all the sports.
“Ethan and I are going to be tag-teaming all teams to help make the weight room as efficient as possible,” Duguay said.
“If we’re efficient,” he said, “the athletes will get more out of it.” His plan is to emphasize building strength and work capacity through high intensity exercises.
Duguay is a Melbourne native who graduated from Melbourne High School before going out of state for college. He worked at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. for one year before returning to his hometown to start a new chapter of his life.
“It’s to bring back what I’ve learned outside of home and take the lessons I’ve learned and just help guide the student-athletes to their goals,” Duguay said. “Being able to do that is actually the biggest turning point, coming home.”
Duguay found his passion for strength and conditioning in college when he realized that physical education wasn’t challenging enough and decided he wanted to take it a step further.
He said this is his way of staying connected with sports and helping others win championships and reach goals. “I enjoy finding different ways to manipulate the body; to actually see changes, see things happening,” Duguay said.
Duguay didn’t have much time to settle in before the VTC started to flood every day with student athletes as the new semester started.
He said that hitting the ground running has been stressful. “Realizing how much we want to do kind of makes it a little overwhelming,” Duguay said.
Some of the projects that Duguay has in mind are immediate goals such as getting new rehabilitation equipment for the VTC.
His long-term goals include outdoor storage for the VTC and new technology to help improve the student athletes’ power and efficiency in the weight room and on the field.
“We’re going to bring in TENDO Units, which is a power output technology,” Duguay said.
This technology will give them immediate feedback on how fast the bar moves and the amount of force being used to move the bar, he said.
Duguay said he also wants to implement a movement software called Dartfish, which will analyze movement and see where student-athletes can become more efficient.
“It will break down not only the lifting patterns, but I can also use it for the sports individually so athletes can see how they can be more efficient, better moving and what are some of the issues that they’re having,” Duguay said.
Duguay may have plans for improving the strength and conditioning program, but what is most important to him are life lessons that student-athletes will learn in the weight room.
“My goal really is to get them to understand the weight room as an extension not only of the competition field but also of life,” he said. “Not only will you learn lessons on the field of competition, but in the weight room you understand adversity, the discipline behind maintaining technique, doing things correctly, when to have fun and when to be serious.”
As a new face at Florida Tech, Duguay says that he’s looking to emphasize respect and balance in the weight room as well as bring a new sense of energy and purpose to everything that he does.