Behind every good athletic program is a dedicated team of coaches, administration, and the often-overlooked strength and conditioning coaches. For Bison student-athletes fortunate enough to train in the varsity weight room, many have worked under the direction of Jerry Shreck, Cody Miller, and Colleen Looney. With each individual coach bringing new techniques, knowledge, and motivation into the weight room, it is no wonder the strength and conditioning program proves to be the backbone of the majority of teams for the Bison.
Graduating from East Stroudsburg University in 1996 with a degree in movement studies and exercise science, Shreck served as the Bison men’s basketball athletic trainer before being appointed to the head strength and conditioning coach and fitness facilities coordinator after three seasons. You can find Shreck stroking his beard and shouting across the weight room, constantly filling the place with energy.
Q: If you could pick one trait critical to success in the weight room, what would it be?
A: Honesty. An athlete has to be honest with him or herself, honest with their programming, and honest with their efforts. If they are not honest, they will never reach their full potential.
Q: What sets Bucknell apart from other places you have worked at?
A: I admire the knowledge level and dedication these athletes have towards their education. Most of them will never have an opportunity to become a professional athlete, but the skills they acquire as student-athletes will lead them to be successful in any path they choose in life.
Graduating from West Virginia University with a degree in exercise physiology, Cody joined the Bison in 2014. Known for walking around the weight room with a raw bell pepper or bag of steak in hand, his ability to motivate others is inspiring.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to an athlete, what would it be?
A: If you come to the end of the day and you aren’t dragging your battered body through the front door, you didn’t go hard enough. If you can do this, you will come to the end of your athletic career, and no matter what the outcome, you will be able to say, “I have nothing left to give. There is nothing more I could have done.” There is peace and satisfaction in that.
Q: Who are your favorite kinds of athletes?
A: My favorite type of athlete is one who has a lot of passion for their sport, is desperate to get better at their sport, and cares about other people. When you combine these things, you get someone who is constantly sharpening their skills in some form or fashion, is willing to do the grunt work to improve the raw physicality of their sport, and is a great teammate and leader.
Before joining the staff, Colleen earned a Bachelor’s degree in health science at Gettysburg College. Looney went on to earn her master’s in exercise science from Appalachian State University. Outside of the weight room, Colleen loves playing with her beloved dog, Frank. Within the weight room, you can often find her playing Kesha over the sound system and shouting from the rooftops to “add more weight.”
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
A: My favorite part of the job is seeing young athletes hit their goals and develop as athletes and people. The weight room is one of the few places where you can push yourself to the point of failure and see tangible results. Hard work is the only thing that gets rewarded in the weight room. There is no way around it.
Q: If you could pick one exercise to do every day, what would it be?
A: That is a tough one. I would have to say squat. Every day is leg day.