Conditioning the Coop: A Discussion with Delongis

5 min read

Lily Ives ’23

Sports Editor

What is the secret mojo behind the tremendous power and elite performance of the athletes at Trinity College? For that answer look no further than Bill Delongis, who is wrapping up his seventh year as the head strength and conditioning coach at Trinity. Since his arrival, strength and conditioning at Trinity has exploded with excellence. Not only does Delongis work with hundreds of Trinity athletes, but he also works with USA Women’s Ice Hockey as the head strength coach for the U18 National Team. Additionally, Delongis has served as an assistant with the Olympic team. From Trinity athletes to Olympians, the magic touch of Delongis has helped to elevate the performance of countless athletes who love working with him. 

The Tripod interviewed Delongis to learn more about his unique approach to strength and conditioning, as well as why he is so devoted and passionate about it. Delongis shared when his love for lifting was truly born, “I was bitten by the iron bug as a freshman in high school.”  According to Delongis, he started lifting in part because of the unusual career that he dreamed for himself, to be a pro wrestler, as he said, “to prepare for wrestling practice and to try and look like a WWE wrestler. In high school, I was always leading my friends through lifts and it became clear that I should spend my life doing so.” 

The backstory of how Delongis landed at Trinity is a personal story not many people know. Delongis described it like this, “I dated a girl who took a job in Hartford while I was working at Stony Brook University on Long Island. She wanted us to be closer and saw Trinity had an opening for their Head S&C coach. I wanted nothing to do with applying but did so to make her happy. I truly had 0 intention of trying to get this job but then I received a phone call from the former AD Mike Renwick, and after speaking to him, I went all-in on trying to become a Bant.” 

Delongis works closely with several different teams here at Trinity, including women’s lacrosse, women’s ice hockey, softball, football, and baseball. There is no easy one-size-fits-all training that extends across all sports, as each team demands different programs to reach their specific goals. Delongis takes a thoughtful approach to conditioning, and that includes training in the off-season, versus in-season, which varies drastically. He explains, “The early offseason is all about building a foundation of moving well, building muscle and strength. As we near the season conditioning becomes a priority for most sports while continuing to build strength. Once a team goes into the season, I prioritize power and speed.” 

So, what happens in the summer months ahead when student athletes are far away from the Trinity campus and Delongis?  That is something that always concerns him as he says, “everything we do during the school year is lost if someone takes time off during the summer. This is also the prime time to build a foundation of strength since we don’t have to worry about practice, games, or the stress of class. It’s impossible to reach your athletic potential if you don’t train all year round. It’s clear for me to realize who truly cares about winning when we come back in September.”  

Delongis clearly loves working with the athletes at Trinity, and touched upon what he finds so incredibly rewarding, “when a student-athlete turns the corner with their work ethic. Seeing an athlete learn how to push themselves or their teammates and do the little things right warms my heart.” Junior Molly Broderick, a member of both the women’s soccer and lacrosse teams at Trinity, described what it is like from the point of view of an athlete to work with Delongis, “though lift is extremely challenging and truly tests us as athletes, I always look forward to it more because of Bill and his encouragement. Bill explains the reasoning behind many of our exercises and how they correlate to our sport. He’s also hilarious and down to earth!” Junior Elle Fair, who is a member of both Trinity’s women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams added to Broderick’s point, emphasizing the big and hilarious personality of Delongis. As Fair stated, “I can always look forward to Bill’s many jokes he cracks during lift, as well as the fun music he allows us to listen to. I’ve never had a strength coach like Bill, as he truly cares so much about all of his athletes and wants to see us thrive on and off the field.” 

More often than not it is the student-athlete who is in the spotlight, however the secret behind the success of so many Trinity athletes starts with Delongis, who tirelessly helps to empower and strengthen the body, mind and spirit of Bantam athletes. Working with Delongis is not always easy, as he relentlessly pushes and drives athletes, but his results speak loudly, and more importantly the athletes he works with not only respect and admire him, but like him a ton. 

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