Elitefts SPP: Tom Palumbo Interview
Published December 11, 2013
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    Tom Palumbo Interview

    I first met Tom Palumbo in 2006 when he visited The United States Military Academy at West Point. I was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Army and Tom was the associate head strength and conditioning coach at The Ohio State University, a position he held until the Spring of 2012. As the director of strength and conditioning at Denison University, I had decided to intern for Tom at Ohio State in the summer of 2007. Tom’s passion for getting his athletes better, his diligence and practical application of anecdotal research, his tenacious work ethic, and his unwavering integrity has made him one of the most respected coaches at the collegiate setting.

    I have witnessed firsthand, Tom Palumbo coaching in the weight room, mentoring interns, and presenting at conferences. I asked Coach Palumbo to present at three consecutive central Ohio strength and conditioning clinics, as well as many other regional and national conferences. As an internship coordinator, I would schedule multiple professional development trips each year. These were integral to the learning process for our student coaches.

    Tom has used his experiences from the University of Georgia, The Pittsburgh Pirates, and The Ohio State University to organize and institute Flagler College’s first ever strength and conditioning program. In this interview from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Conference in Kansas City, Missouri last May, Tom and I discuss his journey and transition through the coaching field. He goes into detail about programming, internships, and his frustrations within the industry.

    Topics covered in podcast:

      1. The career path
      2. The Challenges of starting a program from scratch
      3. Transitioning to a smaller school
      4. Using accommodating resistance
      5. Both sides of internships
      6. Off-season programming
      7. The stressors of the profession
      8. Dealing with sport coaches

    Tom Palumbo begins his second season as Flagler’s strength and conditioning coach. He is the school’s first full-time employee in that position and started July 9, 2012.

    Palumbo comes to Flagler from The Ohio State University where he served as an associate strength and conditioning coach since 2003. He directed the women’s lacrosse, women’s ice hockey, men’s swimming, women’s golf and rifle teams recently, but has worked with 28 sports during his time with the Buckeyes.

    Prior to Palumbo’s time in Columbus, he had a stint as the minor league conditioning coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was the assistant director of strength and conditioning at the University of Georgia (1999-01).

    He worked directly with 15 future Olympians as well as 33 all-Americans. Some of the notable student-athletes he worked with includes two-time gold medal winner Courtney Shealy (swimming), and gold medal winners Tessa Bonhomme (ice hockey) and Debbie Ferguson (track and field). Palumbo also worked with 2012 Master’s champion Bubba Watson at Georgia.

    A native of Savannah, Ga., Tom graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor of science degree in microbiology. He also earned a master of education in physical education and sports studies from Georgia.

    - Courtesy of Flagler College Sports Information
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