Community college athletic programs have struggled to gain attention on a national scale.
Fortunately, College of the Canyons and other community college athletic programs have excelled and gained respect over the last few years, and the Cougars have become a household name for producing quality four-year transfers and professional athletes. In 2005 alone, the men's golf team won the state title while in 2004 the football team earned the title of national champions. More than 30 athletes from the 2005-06 season received scholarships to four-year schools, including six to the PAC-10.
Now one of the Cougars' key coaches brings the shine of the national spotlight of success on the Cougar athletic program as College of the Canyons strength and conditioning coach Robert Dos Remedios was named the 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) College Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year. Dos Remedios is the first community college coach ever to be nominated, and the first to win since the award was initially presented 26 years ago, in 1980.
"It is an honor to receive an award from my peers, but it is more of an acknowledgement for College of the Canyons. It is a reassurance that things in the strength and conditioning program are going well and continuing to advance," said Dos Remedios, who has been nominated four times for this annual award.
NCSA presents the College Strength and Conditioning Professional Award annually at its national conference. Coaches are nominated by their peers and six finalists are chosen.
This year's nominees included Russell Barbarino of Tulane University; Rogjk Cutchlow of Illinois University; Paul Goodman of the University of Vermont; Scott Kirchmann of Belmont University; and Greg Werner of James Madison University.
The first award was given to a pioneer in the strength and conditioning field, Boyd Epley of the University of Nebraska, in 1980. Other coaches have included Bruno Pauletto of the University of Tennessee, Michael J. Clark of Texas A&M and Joe Kenn of Arizona State.
"To be recognized with a group of names like this is huge. I've looked up to most of these people," said Dos Remedios.
Dos Remedios had his beginnings at Glendale junior college where he was a member of the football team. "I went to Glendale College for two years and at that time, there was no organization when it came to strength and conditioning. When I transferred to University of California, Berkeley, the strength and conditioning coach, Robin Pound took me under his wing and made me understand that there was a science to my training," said Dos Remedios.
The former Golden Bears center learned that there was a reason behind everything he did in the weight room and sought to understand it even more after college. After taking classes at California State University, Northridge, Dos Remedios went back to where he started his football career, Glendale College. He also had a short stint with John Burroughs High School in Burbank before there was an opening at COC.
In 1998, with the reinstatement of the football team, the Cougars were looking for a strength and conditioning coach to work with the team. By the spring of 1999, the position opened to work with all the sports at COC and Dos Remedios jumped on the opportunity.
"My goal was to get a job at the community college level. I get to work with Division I athletes but I get them at a level where they can still be impressed upon," said Dos Remedios.
Lately, Dos Remedios is very busy and it is no wonder he received the national award from the NCSA. While holding the full-time position at COC, he also teaches classes to the general population, writes for Men's Health magazine, speaks at national conferences and just finished a book on strength training.
"No one is going to be better conditioned than the Cougars. They may be faster, but never more conditioned. My program is very intense and I expect a high level of intensity from my athletes. I want to build better athletes and have the exercises I teach them, transfer to their performance," said Dos Remedios. And that is the philosophy makes a nationally recognized strength and conditioning coach.