By John Jackson, Staff Writer
The strength and conditioning department at Manhattan College has only been around since the 2015-2016 school year, but it is made up of three coaches who dedicate a large chunk of their time for the health, well-being, and advancement of the college’s student-athletes.
Patrick Dolan, the head strength and conditioning coach, views the position as a blank canvas which he can have a positive impact upon.
“More or less it’s still a blank canvas and I’m in an opportunity to put the first few strokes on it,” said Dolan.
The Philadelphia native entered his Freshman year at DeSales University with the intention of pursuing a career in exercise science. His first thought wasn’t strength and conditioning however, but instead physical therapy.
“I definitely knew I wanted to be involved in exercise science,” said Dolan. “But to be honest, originally when I chose my undergraduate degree I actually thought I wanted to go into physical therapy.”
His academic advisor pushed him into interning at a private facility that focused on both physical therapy and athletic performance. That first internship is where he fell in love with the performance side of exercise science.
For his next internship, Dolan worked with Temple football’s strength and conditioning staff for a summer. After getting a taste of strength and conditioning at the collegiate setting, he knew that was the route he wanted to go.
After graduating from DeSales in 2012, Dolan got a job with the Detroit Tigers organization. He oversaw their rookie minor league team, the Gulf Coast League Tigers. The GCL Tigers played at the same facility where the Detroit Tigers played during Spring Training. Therefore Dolan got the opportunity to assist with the rehabs of any player from the rookie levels to the big leagues who were there on a long rehab stint.
“So really really young kids,” said about the high school and college age players he worked with on the GCL Tigers. “Really raw talent; a lot of potential. Still a lot of need for physical development which was great on my end cause you can have a much greater influence at that age rather than say the big [leaguers] who’ve been doing it for 10 or 15 years already.”
Dolan left the GCL Tigers to pursue a Master’s degree and get back into the collegiate setting. He began that pursuit at Lindenwood University; a Division II school in St. Louis. He spent two years at Lindenwood before leaving for Santa Clara University where he worked as an Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning for 13 months.
Dolan got his current job as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Manhattan College in the Summer of 2016. In his first semester as a Jasper he had help from assistant coach Mike Olave. In his second semester he had help from both Olave and newly hired assistant coach Bennett Reed.
Together Olave and Reed oversee women’s rowing, swimming and diving, soccer, softball, and volleyball as well as men’s swimming and diving, soccer, and golf. Dolan has influences on those teams and also implements and designs the programs for the rest of the teams.
“I oversee the department so I definitely have a little [oversight] influence on all the teams,” said Dolan. “But I’m lucky to have two assistants to help me out.”
Men’s basketball star Zane Waterman has worked closely with Dolan since his arrival in Riverdale. The 6’9” forward had a career year as he averaged 14.5 points and seven rebounds per game.
“I really like him,” said Waterman. “He pushes us in the weight room. I think he’s got a good variety between lifting, getting stronger, and also cardio, staying in shape, being able to go on the court for longer.”
Dolan expects the best out of his athletes regardless of what sport they play. While a student-athlete on one team may do different workouts compared a student-athlete on another team, he still wants everybody to push themselves.
“He’s always pushing us,” said Waterman. “[He’s] on top of guys making sure they’re going 100%, getting the best out of themselves.”