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    A Man called Sarge

    Schulz brings wealth of knowledge, experience to athletic conditioning

    Lindsey Smith
    Antelope staff

    Many student-athletes may be surprised to learn the background of the infamous, energetic “Sarge.”

    Newly appointed UNK head strength and conditioning coach, Steve Schulz, is no stranger to training athletes as he enters his 36th year in the profession. He began his career as a graduate assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, after which he took a big step and became the head strength and conditioning coach at Stanford for 13 years. From there, he went to Santa Clara then eventually moved back to his origins in the Midwest, coaching at Boise State, Hastings and finally UNK.

    Schulz knew he wanted to go into strength and conditioning at the mere age of 10, when he acquired his first set of weights. “I’ve always been interested in improving athletic performance,” he said.

    Schulz hopes to make a difference here. He says what makes UNK different is the number of solid all-around athletes that you see at the Division II level, having previously coached for NCAA Division I and NAIA programs.

    However, Schulz has big plans for bettering UNK’s athletes through the renovation of the weight room. He is taking a reorganized, more functional approach by adding inlaid platforms with rubber flooring, eliminating the need for raised platforms for power racks while providing a safer environment with more floor space.

    Schulz also plans on converting a section of the weight room into exclusively agility and core training by replacing the flooring with turf. “This will allow for more efficient workouts, getting the athletes in to do the work they need and getting them out quicker for more recovery time,” Schulz said.

    He attributes his own success to his knowledge of strength and conditioning that gave him an edge over his competition. Schulz played football for Doane College and was invited to tryout and train with the Denver Broncos. He played for the Omaha Mustangs semi-pro football team for two years before taking his talents to lifting. Schulz went on to compete in power-lifting for six years and Olympic weight-lifting for 20 years.

    Schulz’s favorite thing about training athletes is being able to watch them build confidence and improve their athletic performance.

    Schulz has made plenty of connections through his employment at various universities. However, we can thank one football player from Stanford back in 1981 for coining the name “Sarge” by referring to Schulz as a sergeant. When asked why he prefers his athletes to refer to him as “Sarge”, he responds with a laugh and states, “I don’t necessarily prefer it, the name has just stuck.”

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