St. Bonaventure University

Alumni News

Coach Darryn Fiske details need for new Strength & Conditioning Center

Apr 18, 2023

Pictured_A rendering of the Strength and Conditioning Center

Creating a “wow” factor for current and prospective student-athletes while helping to enhance their athleticism is the goal for the proposed new Strength & Conditioning Center at St. Bonaventure University.

The university fields 19 men’s and women’s teams in the competitive Atlantic 10 Conference, totaling about 385 student-athletes. Overseeing the physical and mental preparation of each of these athletes is Darryn Fiske, director of Strength and Conditioning.

With nearly 25 years of experience, Fiske is a seasoned professional who knows how to ignite and inspire young athletes to achieve their personal best. He and his staff train the athletes on various aspects of physical fitness such as strength, power, speed, balance and coordination. Pictured_Coach Darryn Fiske__

“Our job here is to help performance and make movement more efficient,” Fiske said. “A better mover will be a better athlete.” 

He and his staff also work in tandem with Bona’s full athletic training staff, which includes sports medicine, where they help athletes prevent and recover from injury, and nutrition, where they teach athletes how to properly refuel the body. 

But offering the ultimate training experience is a daily challenge in the 1990s-era strength and conditioning facility currently located on the ground floor of the Reilly Center, Fiske noted. The growth of Bona’s Division I teams has pushed beyond the boundaries of the area. 

In just the past five years, the student-athlete total has increased by more than 100. Yet there is less than 3,000 square feet within the present strength and conditioning facility. Fiske said this means a 14-hour day is needed in order to get all the athletes through their daily training. 

“In the new facility, we’ll have more equipment and more space available to the athletes to use at one time,” he said.

When completed, the new Strength and Conditioning Center will boast state-of-the-art equipment, a weight room area five times the size of the present facility, and nearly 10,000 square feet of open space, offering enough room to accommodate up to four teams simultaneously. 

The center of the space will be artificial turf, which is customary in workout areas and utilized for warmups, stretching, sprints and other exercises. More than a quarter of Bona athletes could be served in just one session, which would lessen conflicts with class schedules, practices and staffing, Fiske said.  

For now, creativity is key as he and his staff improvise to get each team the time they need at various stations around the room. That he can handle the volume says a lot about his experience and expertise.

“My philosophy is a no-nonsense approach to training,” Fiske said. “It is scientifically based. I try to get the maximum out of our athletes every session. We all have different stressors, but whatever their 100 percent is that day, that’s what I’ll get from them.”

Pictured_Austin Blumbergs in actionAustin Blumbergs, a member of the men’s lacrosse team recently drafted by the Buffalo Bandits, credits Fiske for always pushing him to reach his full potential.

“Coach Fiske taught me how to train like a professional athlete and helped me adapt to that kind of lifestyle,” Blumbergs said. “He understands my limits almost better than I do. He knows when I’ve got another rep in the tank even when I don’t think I do.”

Blumbergs, a native of Penn Yan, New York, earned a bachelor’s degree in sport studies and will graduate this May with an MBA. He has been playing lacrosse since the age of four. His uncle, Todd, was a member of the 2006 Latvia team in the World Lacrosse Championship. 

Blumbergs has his sights set on becoming a strength and conditioning coach. He said he is excited for future student-athletes who will utilize the new Strength and Conditioning Center. 

“It’s best for teams to train together. It builds the team chemistry and creates competitiveness,” Blumbergs said. “Having a facility like this will really improve the level of all athletics at St. Bonaventure.”

The new Strength and Conditioning Center is part of the plans for building A Bolder Bonaventure through the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history. Alumni and friends can help support the center by making an online donation during the April 20 Bonnies Athletic Fund Giving Day

Fiske, who has trained thousands of student-athletes through the years, noted the significance of creating the center. 

“There is no other area on this campus that touches every student-athlete on a daily basis,” he said. “That is the real importance of this facility.”  

Learn how you can help ignite and inspire student-athletes:

Visit A BOLDER BONAVENTURE: Ignite. Inspire. Invest.
Learn about the ATHLETICS PILLAR of the campaign

 A Bolder Bonaventure wordmark