Coach named to HOF

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 31, 2015

There have been a lot of changes in the strength and conditioning programs at universities all over the country over the last 10 plus years, and Troy University is no different.

The man at the forefront of all the changes at Troy University is Director of Strength and Conditioning Richard Shaughnessy.

After a long career at Troy University, Shaughnessy was honored to be one of nine upcoming inductees into the Wiregrass Hall of Fame.

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The induction ceremony will be Saturday, Aug. 1 at the Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center in Dothan, Ala.

Shaughnessy played high school football at Northview High School in Dothan under head coach Harry Wayne Parrish and later coached for him at Northview.

“It’s really big for me to get recognized by my home,” Shaughnessy said. “Just being recognized is special. There are so many great people that have come out of that area. For them to think I am one of them is such a huge honor for me.”

The opportunity to go in as a strength and conditioning coach is a special honor for Shaughnessy in an era where so many former on-field athletes get inducted.

“I am one of the first strength and conditioning coaches to go in. Usually it’s a football or baseball coach or some type of athlete,” Shaughnessy said. “For me to get recognized for strength and conditioning is pretty cool.”

The Wiregrass Hall of Fame is not the only honor bestowed on Shaughnessy. In 2009 he was named as a master strength coach by the College of Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. It is the highest honor awarded in the field.

While coaching at Early County High school, Shaughnessy got a call from Johnny Williams, former athletic director at Troy University, who offered him the strength coach for the football team.

“I never looked back. I packed up all my stuff. I wanted to be a college strength coach, and that’s what I did,” Shaughnessy said. “Twenty years later, I am still here.”

During his time at the university, Shaughnessy has seen 80 of his former players have a chance to compete at the next level after their careers at Troy were complete.

“I have had a lot of guys go off to the NFL, and I have been fortunate enough to have them stay here and train with me,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s fun to watch them go off and do the things that they do.”

The athletic weight room dawns photo after photo of former Troy athletes who went off to play at the next level. What makes Shaughnessy so special to his athletes is that he still has a relationship with all of them.

“I have relationships with all of them. When we talk it may not always be about sports,” Shaughnessy said. “That’s what it’s all about for me. My coaches did that from me.”

With a bench outside of his office and three chairs lined up in his office, its no surprise that coach Shaughnessy spends as much time mentoring and counseling as he does lifting weights.

The strength and conditioning programs has evolved over the last 10 years and coaches like Shaughnessy has had to adapt at every step along the way.

The changes began in Shaughnessy own back yard at Troy University.

When Shaughnessy first started his office was under the bleachers in Sartain Hall, where he was in charge of just the football program. Fast forward to 2015 and Shaughnessy oversees the entire athletic program.

“In the past 10 years, my role has changed drastically,” Shaughnessy said. “With the change in coaches and everything else, it used to be make sure football is handled properly but now every coach wants their own strength coach, their own hours. It’s a huge part of it now. It wasn’t thought about that way before.”

Along with being strength and conditioning, Shaughnessy is also a pro-liaison, who handles scouts and future agents of the athletes. Strength and conditioning has evolved into so much more than lifting weights, something that Shaughnessy continues to adapt to.

“It changes all the time. The size and speed of the players all comes back to us,” Shaughnessy said.

“Players need to be ready now earlier. We need to have them ready. We don’t send them home for summer anymore. We have only so many hours to practice they don’t want to spend it getting into shape. Us, being strength coaches, need to do our job and get them in shape.”