When Valparaiso University football coach Landon Fox addressed his team for the first time at his introductory team meeting, there was one thing about his coaching staff that he made clear right away – he would hire someone solely responsible for football strength and conditioning.
Fox attributed much of the success of programs he has worked for previously to strength and conditioning and stressed the importance of that area. As he begins the process of revealing his staff, Fox has named Alex Curtis the strength and conditioning coach for the Valpo football program.
“Everything in our league is developmental,” Fox said. “Players are here to develop both academically and athletically. If you look at teams that are successful in this league, it’s those that have players who are in their fourth or fifth season. An important piece of that is having the right person in place to develop those players over their time in the program. Coach Curtis is going to spend more time with our players than the rest of the staff, so it was important for me to take great care in finding the right person to fill this role.”
Curtis spent the 2018 season as the football strength and conditioning assistant at Western Kentucky University, a member of Conference USA. He joined the Hilltoppers staff in the spring of 2018 after two seasons as a graduate assistant at Morehead State, where he worked with football, baseball and softball.
“During the interview process, I could feel his sincere interest in people and players,” Fox said. “I was impressed by his knowledge of the strength and conditioning field and by his energy. He’s a juice guy; he brings passion to his role. He was persistent in his follow-up after our initial conversation and it was evident that he really wanted to be at Valpo.”
A 2015 graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in exercise science, Curtis served as an athletic trainer with football, women’s lacrosse and baseball during his undergraduate years. He earned a master’s degree in sports management from Morehead State in 2018. Curtis is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
“I’m familiar with the Pioneer Football League and the Valparaiso football program from my time at Morehead State,” Curtis said. “When we came here and Valpo beat us, I could tell this was a blue-collar, disciplined team that had great potential. My father raised me with a blue-collar work ethic, so I knew that would fit well with this program. Coach Fox is a tremendous coach who comes from an outstanding program. He has a mission and I believe in his vision. It’s clear that he believes in the importance of strength and conditioning, and that made me even more interested in this position. We’re committed to striking the right balance between fun and discipline to lead to success here at Valpo.”
What They’re Saying About Coach Curtis
Thomas Stallworth, New York Giants Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach: “Alex is a young, energetic coach who loves what he does and the athletes he works with. His time at Western Kentucky was marked by the youthful passion that he brought to work every day and the contagious effect it had on those players and coaches. Valpo is in store for a hidden gem of young strength coaches.”
Brian Hess, University of North Carolina Football Head Strength & Conditioning Coach: “Alex completely invested himself in our department and actively looked for ways to make our program better. He played a major role in our nutrition program and developmental lift group. Alex made a lasting impact on both the staff and players. I couldn’t be happier for Alex and the athletes at Valpo that will be coached at the highest level.”
Quinn Barham, Ohio State University Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach: “Valparaiso football got a good one. Coach Curtis is hungry for greatness and is passionate about transforming the average into the elite. The future is bright with this man at the helm of the team’s strength and conditioning program.”
John Perin, Birmingham Southern University Defensive Coordinator: “Valpo football is getting one of the top young strength coaches in the business. In our time working together, he impressed me with his contagious positive energy and passion for developing student-athletes. He is very detail-oriented and will do a great job of getting the team prepared to compete at a high level in the Pioneer Football League.”
Milo Austin, Morehead State University Associate Head Coach: “Alex Curtis is a great up-and-coming strength coach in this profession. He has the ability to connect with players and get the most out of them in the weight room and in life. The Valparaiso football program will grow in the weight room under Coach Curtis.”
Conor Hughes, Army West Point Head Football Strength & Conditioning Coach: “Alex Curtis is a fantastic strength coach who had a huge impact on our strength program. He owns a tireless work ethic and an outstanding attitude.”
Jason Veltcamp, Western Kentucky University Director of Football Strength & Conditioning: “Coach Curtis will create a competitive environment, help student-athletes address their deficiencies and push them to new heights.”