UMass-Lowell Strength Coach Wins Lance Vermeil Award

Richard James Meldrum, sports performance coach for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, won the Lance Vermeil Award at the CSCCa National Conference in Orlando, Fla.

The Lance Vermeil Award was established in 2012 and was developed in partnership with MF Athletic/Perform Better in memory of Lance Vermeil, who was an extremely qualified and dedicated young strength and conditioning coach. Coach Vermeil was committed to the profession of collegiate strength and conditioning, and most importantly, to serving and protecting the student-athlete.

Meldrum first discovered his passion for strength and conditioning during his first deployment overseas with his infantry unit, the 82nd Airborne, to Iraq in 2006-2007. Upon leaving the U.S. Army, he enrolled at the University of Hawaii to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science. He then had the opportunity to begin his career in strength and conditioning as a professional intern in the Fall of 2013. Richard assisted with all sports teams at UH and graduated in 2015 along with both the CSCS and SCCC certifications.

After graduation, Meldrum and his family moved across the U.S. for a part-time position  at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Richard joined the staff in August 2015 as a paid intern and had an immediate impact on the athletic performance department. He took responsibility for the Men’s & Women’s Track teams, which previously had no sports performance coach, as well as the Women’s Soccer and Women’s Lacrosse teams.

Under his assistance, the Men’s Cross Country team  won a Conference Championship in 2016. The Men’s Track Team has a second-place finish in its indoor 2017 season, as well as multiple school records on both Men’s and Women’s Track Teams being broken. The Women’s Soccer team qualified for the America East Conference postseason tournament, and Women’s Lacrosse is on its way to its best season to date.

“As the athletic department transitions to Division I, Richard has brought a level of commitment and professionalism that has helped elevate our department, his team’s abilities and practices, and overall mentality,” said Keith Vinci, assistant athletics director for sports performance at UMass-Lowell. “Richard is an integral part of our Sports Performance department and has demonstrated his willingness to go above and beyond for the school, his colleagues, and his athletes.”

Meldrum is also in charge of managing the undergraduate intern program. He created the intern manual and developed an intern education program. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Sports Conditioning & Performance from Southern Utah University, and is expected to graduate in the spring of 2018 and maintains a GPA above a 3.5.