After three years as Simpson College’s tight ends coach, Pete Traynor is getting his shot to do what he loves most.
On March 9, Coach Traynor was hired as a full-time member of the Simpson football coaching staff. His roles will be offensive line coach and strength and conditioning coach. Traynor played college football for the University of Iowa and then played professionally, including four games with the Green Bay Packers.
“This job allows me to do the two things I am extremely passionate about, the coaching and football aspect of it, “Traynor said. “But I’ve been in the professional setting for health and wellness for the past eight years. I’m passionate about that, being able to help people, whatever their goals are, grow and achieve.”
With his experience in the health and training field, Traynor is used to working with a variety of people to improve at their own pace. He understands a football team is made up of a lot of different athletes. Each athlete has different needs and Traynor has the experience and skills to give each player the individual attention they need.
Traynor has the team doing a lot of heavy lifting currently, and added in some conditioning as the weather got nicer. Redshirt senior Nate Connealy said, “For me, it has been great as far as injury prevention. I had a significant injury last year and he’s doing a lot of things to prevent things like that from happening to players.”
Traynor said last year they had about 26 injuries on the team and he is doing his best to prevent that. While lifts can help strengthen the body, the team suffered many concussions last season. Traynor’s answer to that is to increase the all-around athleticism of his team, so if they are in a situation where a blow to the head is a possibility, they can change the position of their body in a split second to avoid the big hit.
Another point of emphasis for him is time in the weight room. The team has designated workout times, and Traynor tries to maximize those times. Sophomore safety Trevor McKee said, “One thing that he is doing differently is less cardio before our workouts, which allows for time lifting in the weight room. Coach Traynor also has us do core workouts before the lifting sessions, rather than during.”
With the extra time in the weight room, Traynor usually has very high intensity workouts and likes to push the players to their limits. Connealy said, “He’s really ramped it up. He challenges us and asks more of us than we think is possible, but that’s what a good coach like Coach Traynor does. He just brings out the best in you and makes you go farther than you think you ever could. I think next year we’re going to see a lot of guys reaching their full potential and having breakout years.”