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Hoover Selected Samson Equipment’s Eastern Region High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Coach Mark Hoover for being selected as the Samson Equipment’s High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year for the Eastern Region. Coach Hoover is in his second year as the strength and conditioning coach for Piedmont’s football program and also is the defensive coordinator. According to Hoover, “"I was excited when the award was announced because it shows how hard our athletes here at PHS are working. I think this recognition can be attributed to the dedication and work ethic of the athletes much more than to any one individual."

Below is the article that appeared in American Football Monthly that featured all the winners across the nation. The complete article can be viewed here.

High School: Eastern Region
Mark Hoover
Piedmont High School (NC)

Background - Mark Hoover is a USA Weightlifting certified instructor and competitor who also serves as both the defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at Piedmont High School. He has coached the previous 12 years in North Carolina on the high school level. He has also coached at high schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

What made 2013 a memorable season?

This was a buy-in year for our kids. This was only the fifth time since 1960 that our school won eight games and I think when we look back it will be a turning point. It is the second year with our new head coach and this staff and I think from the kids, coaches, community, administration, at least from a strength and conditioning perspective, that everyone really had that moment where they realized that this phase of the game is important. I think there used to be the thought that, I guess I lift today or it's August - time to get in shape for the season, but that is gone. People have really embraced a true strength and conditioning program so, for me, that was something I will look back on.

Outside of the USAW approach, what is your philosophy on strength and conditioning?

You are either in or you are out. I think it can be that simple and I think that people are realizing that. Once you get a program in place and you start to see results, it will be a cycle that builds and, if you aren't involved on a daily basis, you will fall behind. Kids that think they are just going to show up in August and then see the field in September are learning very quickly that they are way behind and they aren't going to be able to catch up that quickly and get the kind of playing time they want.

What are your favorite movements?

Olympic weightlifting, hands down. I can't imagine preparing kids to participate in any performance sport where most of their training movements are not done with both feet on the floor and using multiple extensions. We do it for our males and female athletes in all sports. If our athletes didn't like doing it so much I wouldn't program the bench press because I just cannot find a way that a bench press correlates to performance or production. If I could only do two movements it would be the clean-and-jerk, and then the snatch. If I was able to get a third in, it would be squat variations.

Do you have tips for other coaches?

Do your research and set up a proper training program. I am a firm believer in the science behind strength and conditioning and I make sure I continue to educate myself so that I can educate others. We have a strength and conditioning class and it isn't just designed for our athletes so I make sure that every kid who comes in knows that it isn't a weightlifting class. It is important to train for flexibility, power, and speed but the athletes also need a specific program to show improvement.


Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor (Contributions from American Football Monthly)
Posted: Mar 28, 2014 by Donna Helms

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