Former Cal Poly student and football player John Kaupp now heads Cal Poly’s strength and conditioning program after Chris Holder left the Mustangs for a job with San Jose State this winter.

Kaupp, announced as the strength and conditioning coach several months ago by athletic director Alison Cone, looks forward to coaching at his alma mater.

“He just brought the total package,” said Cone of why she appointed Kaupp to the position.

Kaupp’s duties include overseeing the weight room and the conditioning of all varsity athletes. He works with them on every aspect of their training including lifting, flexibility, running, technique and mechanics.

“My goal is making the athletes better in their sports,” said Kaupp, who is certified through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. Kaupp spent the last two years as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the San Diego State Aztecs, working mostly with the football, softball and men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“I didn’t work with as many teams,” said Kaupp of his position with the Aztecs. “Now I have more scheduling and administrative duties.”

At Cal Poly, Kaupp is now in charge of all 20 intercollegiate sports teams.

“This is the first program where he’s running the show,” said Cone.

Kaupp, a native of Soledad, Calif., earned his undergraduate degree in agricultural business at Cal Poly in 2003 after transferring from Hartnell College.

He was also a two-year letter winner with Cal Poly’s football team.

During his time at Cal Poly, Kaupp interned under former coach, Chris Holder, the man whom he recently replaced. Holder left to become the strength and conditioning coach for the football team at San Jose State.

“I had a really good experience being in the program under him,” Kaupp said of Holder. “He did a great job here.”

After completing his internship, Kaupp left Cal Poly to serve as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Idaho, where also completed his master’s degree in recreation in December 2004.

Even as a former football player for Cal Poly, Kaupp has no preference for training one athlete over another, as long as they work hard.

“I give my all to anybody that comes and gives me everything they’ve got,” Kaupp said. Cone says Kaupp is perfect for his position overseeing the program’s training because he has experience working with women’s teams and coaching at San Diego State, in addition to his time as a football player and intern for Cal Poly.

Although his status as a former Cal Poly student athlete didn’t affect Cone’s decision, it was an exciting addition to Kaupp’s outstanding coaching abilities.

“I love it when the most qualified person is an alumni,” Cone said. Kaupp agreed that being an alumnus “is a definite plus,” and after all of the hard work he’s put into his coaching career, his return to Cal Poly has brought him full circle.

“It’s kind of neat coming back home,” Kaupp said.

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