COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Haverford College's Cory Walts was recognized as a finalist for the National Strength and Conditioning Association College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award.
Walts joined Central (Iowa) College's Kyle Johnson and Georgetown University's Mike Hill as finalists for the honor won by Stanford University's Shannon Turley. The coach of the year award has been presented annually since 1980 to a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for dedication to improving the performance of athletes with safe and effective science-based programs. It was a remarkable achievement for Walts to earn finalist status as the 33-year history of the award has seen 29 winners from the Division I ranks.
Walts has been Haverford’s Fitness Center Director and strength and conditioning coach since 2007. He has worked in both the collegiate and professional ranks and has a wealth of experience and a strong background in the strength and conditioning field. Walts’ duties include designing and implementing sports specific athletic enhancement programs for the majority of Haverford’s varsity and club sports programs in addition to overseeing the health and fitness programs for the campus community.
Since Walts’ arrival a number of Haverford teams have reached unprecedented heights. Men's and women's soccer, baseball, men's lacrosse and volleyball have each claimed Centennial Conference titles during Walts' tenure and several other squads have made inspiring runs in postseason play.
Haverford Director of Athletics Wendy Smith believes Walts' reach extends beyond the scope of varsity athletics. "Cory has brought an incredible amount of enthusiasm and dedication to Haverford's fitness center and strength and conditioning program," said Smith. "Cory provides guidance for all members of the College community from those seeking a basic healthy lifestyle regimen to those individuals trying to maximize their athletic performance -- and everyone in between. His knowledge and passion in working with such a diverse population have made him an invaluable member of Haverford's community."
In addition to his work with Haverford student-athletes and community members Walts is also involved in a number of endeavors at the College. Walts teaches several classes within the fitness and physical education program and serves as director of the Joe Schwartz '83 3K Memorial Run/Walk. Schwartz, a former Haverford track and cross country runner passed away from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2008. Since its inception in 2008, the race has raised over $23,000 for ALS research and has had nearly 900 participants from the campus community.
Walts graduated magna cum laude from Ithaca (N.Y.) College in 2005 with a major in clinical exercise science and a general business minor. Following internships with the strength and conditioning departments at Cornell University and the Buffalo Bills, he earned his master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Maryland in 2007. During his two years at College Park, Walts also worked with the Terps' strength and conditioning department. He served as the strength and conditioning coach for men's tennis and assisted with football, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's swimming.