Arlington Heights

By Paul Markgraff, Managing Editor, CSCCa Monthly | Twitter: @csccamonthly Facebook: CSCCaMonthly

Kathy Crowe-Wagner grew up on the storied gridirons of Texas high school football. Her father coached high school football, her mother was a high school teacher and her two brothers were highly involved in sports.


“I grew up moving very nomadically around the state of Texas,” she says, which is not unusual for the children of coaches. Family life typically revolves around sports, and that worked out just fine for Crowe-Wagner.

After achieving success as a high school discus thrower, she earned distinction as a three-time All-American discus thrower (1998-2000) and Lone Star Conference Champion (2000) at Angelo State University, where she also graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in kinesiology. She followed that up with her master’s degree in kinesiology from UTEP.

“Originally, I was going to be a throwers coach,” says Crowe-Wagner. “That’s when I realized I had a love affair with the weight room. A lot of training for throwing is weightlifting. I remember talking to my dad about coaching and he said maybe I could coach in the weight room. I didn’t have a strength coach when I was in college, so that’s when I reached out to Coach [Chuck] Stiggins. He was at BYU at the time. I asked if I could work there over the summer to find out what strength and conditioning was about. I went to BYU and stayed with my uncle for the summer. After working for Coach Stiggins, I decided that strength and conditioning was going to be a lot of fun.”

In May 2014, after more than a decade in the profession, Crowe-Wagner was named Master Strength & Conditioning Coach (MSCC) by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa), the highest honor given in the strength and conditioning coaching profession.

“The amount of sheer effort that you have to put in to make it as a strength coach is incredible,” she says. “First you volunteer, then you intern. You have to become a graduate assistant. You’re working 12-hour days and you are going to graduate school. Then, you get your first job and it doesn’t pay you much money. It’s a difficult profession. I was very proud when I was recognized for making it and having some success.

“When you look on the women’s side, there are not many females who have earned this level of distinction. To be a woman who has succeeded, to have worked with my fellow colleagues who helped me make it, I feel like I can show the younger generation that they too can do this. There are a lot of female athletes who grow up needing female mentors, and now they can see a female strength coach in me. If I can inspire them to be a strength coach, I want to do everything I can to prove to this young generation that it can be done and that this is a great profession full of amazing opportunities.”

To learn more about Kathy Crowe-Wagner, check out the cover story in the CSCCa National Conference Guide & Member Directory, which you will receive during conference registration. Also, plan to attend Crowe-Wagner’s presentation “Caught In The Vise: Pressure To Satisfy Them All,” which takes place in Ballroom C from 11:20 am until 12:20 pm on Friday, May 6, 2016, at the CSCCa National Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

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