The position of strength and conditioning head coach at Manhattan College has existed for a little over a year.
In that span of time, the position has seen a change in leadership, as Jonathan Larsson, who was hired as the first strength and conditioning coach on Aug. 25, 2015, has been replaced by Patrick Dolan.
Dolan, comes from Santa Clara University, where he served as assistant director of strength and conditioning in 2015.
Dolan admits that taking over a fairly new department at Manhattan was part of the intrigue factor in coming to the school.
“That’s what I’m excited for, to be part of something new, to be part of something growing,” Dolan says, “and to be able to carry out my own vision and direction with it.”
Dolan heard about the job opening at Manhattan in mid-June. He was at the airport, checking out strength and conditioning jobs available in the NCAA, and came across Manhattan, a school he had never heard about.
But the novelty of the program, plus the people involved in it, convinced Dolan to give it a shot.
“The people that are here and the values of the college—being Lasallian—being of the smaller setting and smaller environment, also being in the city which I happen to be a big fan of, it just seemed like a really really good fit,” Dolan says.
And so far, Dolan has made quite the impression.
“He is full of energy,” Marianne Reilly, Manhattan’s athletic director says. “He treats every program that we have equitably. Our men’s and women’s basketball teams will get as much of his enthusiasm as men’s and women’s track.”
Dolan has been setting up his entire career to get to this point: To be able to take over a program and implement his vision on it.
Dolan graduated with a bachelor’s in science from DeSales University in 2012, then with a master of science in human performance from Lindenwood University in 2015.
At Lindenwood, Dolan was awarded the 2015 Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year.
Through internships and experiences with universities like Lindenwood, Dolan decided he preferred to work with collegiate programs.
“The reason I like the collegiate setting is because you get to have an impact and be a part of something greater than the win, greater than yourself,” Dolan says. “You’re part of a culture, you’re part of a family here. It’s amazing and just feels incredible when you know you’ve had a greater impact on a young person’s life outside of just winning and losing.”
Dolan admits that Manhattan has presented a new challenge to him. Not having the resources bigger schools have has limited what he can do. However, Dolan is excited to solve the issues.
“It’s been a challenge,” Dolan says, “and that’s exactly why I took this position to be honest. … This department has only existed for about a year now to date. From a facility layout standpoint, that needed some overhaul still. From a financial standpoint, there’s really not much room for budget, so you have to be creative, be able to think outside the box … so it’s been a challenge.”
Since being hired on July 21, 2016, Dolan has made some improvements to the strength and conditioning program. Dolan has requested, and the weight room has received new items like bands, lifting blocks and medicine balls. The new equipment is specific to certain sports, which Dolan suggests can help target specific areas of the body for different individuals.
Dolan has also created a new position for an assistant strength and conditioning coach, which has been filled by Mike Olave, who previously held the same position at Manhattanville College.
Dolan has his sights set high for the strength and conditioning program. In addition to the changes he’s made, he also wants to make the weight room look more inviting and sharp, plus develop an internship program.
“I would really like to get a bridge between our exercise science program,” Dolan says. “To not only give me additional resource to kind of help out … but even just to advance and further the classroom work with what the exercise science program is doing more in the practical setting.”