SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Sara MacKenzie, an assistant strength and conditioning coach for six years and twice an interim head strength and conditioning coach, has been promoted to Director of Strength and Conditioning at Cal Poly.
MacKenzie is one of just two women among NCAA Division I schools with a football program to hold the position as Director of Strength and Conditioning.
"I am really excited to have the opportunity to further my career at Cal Poly as the Director of Strength & Conditioning,” said MacKenzie. “I feel extremely fortunate to have such strong support from the administration, coaches and student-athletes over the last seven years.
“My goal is to continue to build well-rounded, hard-working student-athletes who can find success in the classroom, on the field and in the weight room,” MacKenzie added.
MacKenzie replaced Chris Holder, who resigned in September.
MacKenzie arrived at Cal Poly in August 2011 as a coaching assistant in the strength and conditioning room. One year later, she was interim head strength and conditioning coach for six months.
From March 2013 through August 2018, MacKenzie became a full-time assistant strength and conditioning coach, managing and coordinating the weight room schedule, providing nutrition education for student-athletes and designing and implementing performance-enhancing programs for 11 of Cal Poly’s 21 sports teams.
For the second time, in September 2018, MacKenzie began serving as interim head strength and conditioning coach. She was appointed to the position permanently in late October.
“Sara has been an incredibly dedicated Mustang, working to give our student-athletes the opportunity to be successful,” said Cal Poly director of athletics Don Oberhelman. “She had the full support of our head coaches and sports medicine staff and, after a national search, we determined the best candidate in the country was already working with us.
“Over her eight years at Cal Poly, she has proven herself to everyone associated with our program,” Oberhelman added.
MacKenzie also serves as a trainer educator for Kennedy Club Fitness in San Luis Obispo and as a health and fitness expert / seminar instructor for Cal Poly’s Associated Students Inc. Other positions she has held include director and founder of GREX Group Training from 2014-17, a personal trainer from 2011-17, and director of personal training at Gold’s Gym Elite in Phoenix in 2011.
MacKenzie earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a second major in health promotion at the University of Kentucky in December 2007. She added a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with specialization in physical education and health education at Arizona State in December 2010.
MacKenzie is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), USA Weightlifting (USAW) Level 1 Sports Performance, Russian Kettlebells (RKC) Level II and First Aid/CPR/AED.
While earning her master’s degree, MacKenzie was a sports performance graduate assistant and a sports performance intern at Arizona State from 2008-10. She also served as a flexibility specialist and stretch therapist for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League in 2009.
MacKenzie currently works with the football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, beach volleyball, softball, women’s soccer, men’s tennis and men’s and women’s golf teams.
During her time at Cal Poly, the men's tennis and women's basketball teams have earned two Big West Conference championships while the women's soccer team claimed the title in 2013 and volleyball in 2017 and 2018.
MacKenzie is a graduate of Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio, and currently resides in Shell Beach with her husband Jeremy.
MacKenzie has hired Jordan Davis as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in applied exercise and health with a concentration in sports performance at Purdue in 2015 and a master’s degree in sports administration at Eastern Illinois, where he served as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2015-18.
Davis also has worked as an intern at Notre Dame, Missouri, Purdue and Eastern Washington. He played rugby at Penn High School in Mishiwaka, Indiana, along with Davenport University and Purdue.
Top photo courtesy of Owen Main | www.fansmanship.com
Photo at left courtesy of Alexander Bohlen | www.alexanderbohlen.com