Brett Gerch has only been on the job a few days as head strength and conditioning coach for Cal Poly Athletics, but he is already hard at work.

Gerch oversees the Cal Poly weight room and is responsible for conditioning the athletes in all 20 intercollegiate sports. His current challenge is learning the name of every athlete he works with.

“I love athletics and I love athletes,” Gerch said. “It’s fun to work with different personalities, many of which are entertaining or amusing.”

He replaced former head coach John Kaupp, who moved on to a position as assistant strength and conditioning coach for Kansas State University.

Gerch spent the past year as the University of Delaware assistant strength and conditioning coach. There he focused on using strength and speed workouts for tennis, soccer, softball and track and field.

He also assisted the football program’s strength, speed and conditioning.

Gerch said his greatest challenge at Cal Poly will be the added responsibility of working with 20 teams as opposed to the seven he worked with at Delaware. He plans to deal with this by staying organized and communicating with coaches about scheduling.

Athletics director Alison Cone said that Gerch’s emphasis on speed in his coaching will benefit athletes.

“I think he’s going to do a wonderful job because of his experience, speed work and enthusiasm,” Cone said.

Before his work at Delaware, Gerch worked for two years as assistant strength coach for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and simultaneously worked as the head sports performance coach with Velocity Sports Performance in Baltimore.

Gerch said that there is a huge difference between his work with professional athletes and his work with college athletes.

The Ravens had more machine-based workouts and Gerch was responsible for keeping the athletes free of injury.

At the college level, Gerch is able to use more coaching techniques.

“I plan to help the athletes progress and have great college careers,” Gerch said.

His responsibilities at Cal Poly include preparing teams for games, organizing the weight room, and delegating his assistant coaches to work with teams as needed.

Although Gerch’s primary station is in the weight room he will occasionally attend football practice and was asked to prepare conditioning workouts for the softball team.

Cone said she is excited to have hired Gerch.

“I hope he can teach student athletes a work ethic, proper technique and that his enthusiasm is contagious,” Cone said.

Gerch brings with him more than 11 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach. He is certified through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.

He is also a certified Olympic weightlifting coach through USA Weightlifting.

Gerch graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Appalachian State in 2000 and earned his master’s degree in physical education from Western Carolina University in 2002.

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