Boyd Epley, head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Nebraska for almost 40 years, was recognized last Thursday evening, May 10th, as a "Legend in the Field" of Strength and Conditioning by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa). His award was presented by long-time friend and assistant at the University—Master Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Arthur. This honor was given in recognition of Epley's pioneering efforts on behalf of the strength and conditioning profession. Many consider him to be the "father of modern strength and conditioning" because of the significant influence he has had on the development of this profession. On September 15, 1969, the University of Nebraska hired Boyd, making it the first University with a paid strength and conditioning position. Epley's ideas were innovative and revolutionary at a time when many position coaches considered weight training to be detrimental to the flexibility and mobility of their athletes. The success of the Husker's football program quelled any skeptics, and Coach Epley's strength and conditioning program became the "gold standard" for other universities to follow. He was the mentor for many top strength and conditioning coaches in the field today on both the collegiate and professional level. On the cover of the March 2001 edition of the American Monthly Football magazine, he was featured as the "Godfather" of Strength and Conditioning. Whatever he is called, Boyd Epley's name is truly synonymous with Strength and Conditioning.
Epley's strong belief in the importance and value of a solid strength and conditioning program led him to found a professional organization for others who were interested in pursuing a career in this new and exciting field'the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Boyd served as the organization's first president and as the chairman of the board of directors for five years. Coach Epley was presented with the association's first National Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award in 1980. He now serves as the organization's Director of Coaching Performance. Coach Epley also served on the original Board of Directors for the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa) and was one of the first ten individuals to receive the prestigious title of Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC).
Four individuals were honored as "Legends in the Field" of Strength and Conditioning at the 2007 CSCCa National Conference: Boyd Epley, Al Miller, Meg Ritchie-Stone, and Al Vermeil. These four individuals have had a tremendous impact on the development of the strength and conditioning profession. The profession as it is known today is a direct result of the hard work, dedication, knowledge, and expertise of these legends. They are true pioneers, who blazed a trail through unknown and uncharted territory and helped develop a profession that has become an integral part of successful athletic programs across the country. The pioneering and mentoring efforts of these individuals make them true "Legends in the Field."