The Ottawa University athletic department announced this week the hiring of Dillon Adams as the new Director of Athletic Performance and Head Powerlifting Coach.

“After a nationwide search, Coach Adams rose to the top with his knowledge, diverse experience in a variety of sports, eagerness, and how he positively connected with all he met with during the interview process,” Arabie Conner, OU director of athletics, said in a news release. “The addition of a full-time athletic performance coach on staff specialized and focused on the development of the most safe, effective and current training methods will impact all of our athletic programs. In addition, we’re looking forward to offering another intercollegiate sport option with competitive powerlifting which is regionally very popular at the high school level. We’re looking forward to seeing the impact this position will make for all our programs and the growth it will provide our student-athletes.”

Before coming to Ottawa University, Adams was the assistant sports performance coach at the University of Houston. He was the strength coach for women’s tennis and women’s golf and assisted with football, where he did in-season training, nutrition and hydration testing.

Prior to working at the University of Houston, Adams was an intern for the football strength and conditioning program at the University of Texas from May 2017 to July 2017.

From May 2015 to May of 2017, Adams was a professional intern of sports performance at Tarleton State University. He assisted with training for football, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball and was head strength coach for the throwers on the TSU track team and for the coed Cheer Team. He was also in charge of facility maintenance and assisted with nutrition for athletes.

Adams was a sports performance coach at the Performance Course in Aledo, Texas, from May 2016 to August 2016. He also spent time as the student strength and conditioning coach for football at Howard Payne University from January 2012 to December 2014.

He was a letterman on the football team at Howard Payne University, graduating in December of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sports Science. Adams earned a Master of Science in Kinesiology from Tarleton State University in December of 2016.

“I am looking forward to getting things started here at Ottawa and having the opportunity to start a program from the ground up is extremely exciting,” Adams said. “I am very anxious to see where things can go with all of the teams. A strong Athletic Performance program will elevate every Braves team to new levels, and being the one to bring that to the University is a dream come true. I am excited to get started on the recruiting trail for the Powerlifting team, and get the team to a high level of competition quickly. I look forward to meeting all the athletes, and helping them perform at a high level on and off of their field of play.”

Ottawa University will be recruiting student-athletes to compete at a high level in the USA Weightlifting and USA Powerlifting federations at sanctioned meets. Rare in higher education, OU will also be offering scholarships to weightlifters and powerlifters, thus providing student-athletes an opportunity to receive a top undergraduate education while also pursuing a unique collegiate-level sport. There are only 48 colleges and universities in the U.S. that sponsor powerlifting as either a club or a team. Ottawa University will become the fourth regionally, joining Benedictine College, Kansas State University and the University of Kansas.

Weightlifting was included in the first Olympic Games of 1896. By 1972, what is today’s modern Olympic weightlifting program – the snatch and the clean and jerk lifts – became the standard. It wasn’t until 2000, however, that women’s weightlifting was officially introduced in Olympic competition. The modern sport of powerlifting originated in the U.S. and the U.K. in the 1950s. It is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.

As an increasing number of young athletes forego the traditional sports route to pursue weightlifting and powerlifting, the USAW is partnering with businesses, and now schools, to promote the sport. Ottawa University is excited to open the door to weightlifting and powerlifting athletes and provide them skilled training and competition opportunities.

Ottawa University is currently recruiting for the 2018-19 academic year. For more information on the University’s new weightlifting/powerlifting program, contact Adams at dillon.adams@ottawa.edu.