Drew Henely walks out to the fields where the Castleton University ski team was preparing for a workout.
“Is everyone warmed up,” Henely asked.
He rounds up the team to explain the workouts thoroughly and makes the athletes repeat what he has told them about each so they know exactly what they are doing. He likes the workouts to run smoothly, efficiently, and most importantly – safely.
He used to do the same thing with the Houston Astros players he was training.
Henley, 28 years old and from Phoenix, Ariz., is the new Castleton University strength and conditioning coach. He attended Northern Arizona University and received a degree in business pre-law.
While in college he volunteered to help with a high school basketball team and be the team’s strength and conditioning coach. That decision made him realize he loved what he was doing and decided that pre-law was not his calling. From then he spent as much time as possible getting experience as a strength and conditioning coach. Henely spent fours years doing internships with no pay, but he got that needed experience.
And that experience landed him a job for four years as strength and conditioning coach for the Astros.
“I had a one-year contract and the next off-season I was offered a higher position with the Red Sox and a big pay raise. I left pro baseball because it was draining and filled with travel. I wanted to work with multiple sports so the college setting is a great fit,” he said.
The student athletes at Castleton love their new strength and conditioning coach.
“The workouts with Drew are better than last year because he has made safety a top priority as well as proper form,” said Tyler Smith, a senior on the varsity ski team.
Henely works out with all of the athletic teams at Castleton with the help of his assistant Caroline Grosso. Grosso is a grad student at Castleton University and is getting her master’s in athletic leadership and exercise science. She is a former Syracuse lacrosse player, despite going to a high school with only 200 kids in the graduating class.
“I really like Caroline. She understands what we need because she played lacrosse in college,” said Nadine Downing a member of the women’s lacrosse team.
Players from a variety of sports praised the new training duo.
“Both coaches are critical on both form and safety, which I feel is crucial while working out,” said Zack Devoid a men’s lacrosse player.
“I like how he gives us the tools we need to succeed,” said Erin Luce a member of the women’s ski team.
“They adjust the workouts really well to the demands of each and every sport,” said Jessica Phillips, captain of the women’s soccer team.