More than two-dozen NCAA Division I athletes from such universities as Ohio State, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Miami (Ohio), Kansas and Oklahoma spent Monday training in WC’s indoor turf field located in the new Center for Sport Sciences (CSS).
These athletes are clients of Ignition, an international sports performance company with whom Wilmington College has a partnership. They attended Ignition’s NFL Pre-Draft Training Class.
Chad Swigert, Ignition’s general manager, and his staff conducted the workouts that included bench presses, agility drills, timed speed and acceleration activities, and measuring such skills as vertical leaping and standing lateral jumps.
Many have been invited to compete at the NFL Combine March 2 through 5 in Indianapolis. Also NFL teams hold regional combines and “Pro Days” at major universities.
Swigert described the CSS as a “tremendous facility” for conducting the training.
“Wilmington College shared with us its vision for the Center for Sport Sciences and, once we saw the facility, we knew this was an ideal spot for us,” he said. “For those athletes here today, coming here gets them into a foreign space, which also helps us teach them how to deal with things like nervous energy.
Ignition’s owner is 1994 alumnus Chris Arington, who has given the college weight training and other fitness equipment. He saw an opportunity for a multifaceted partnership, Swigert added. “There’s a great synergy between Ignition and the college.”
Dr. Terry Rupert, vice president for athletic administration, detailed another component of the partnership: Ignition staff are instructing WC courses that result in speed and acceleration certification for participants, an opportunity that has been of special interest to students in the coaching minor and exercise science and sport management majors.
Indeed, Ignition offered a class session just prior to the start of the Pre-Draft Training Class for students and local high school football coaches.
“Ignition emphasizes speed and acceleration, as well as building power and strength as they train athletes,” Rupert said, noting this partnership is making Wilmington College even more attractive to not only students in those academic areas but also to potential student-athletes.
“If you want to be a serious Division III student-athlete, Wilmington College is where you can come to become a healthier and better athlete: faster, stronger, quicker — better,” he said.