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ICON Sports Performance Center: Made to Move USU Athletes

When Alan Bishop, an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Utah State University, was a football player for the Aggies 10 years ago, student-athletes had to wait in line to work out in the cramped 5,800-square-foot strength and conditioning center. 

“Athletes are coming first. We made this a focal point—how can we take them from essentially being under-recruited or a diamond-in-the-rough type to an elite-caliber player?”

With the help of ICON Health & Fitness, the nearly 400 athletes from Utah State's 16 sports programs now have plenty of room to work out. In July of 2013, the ICON Sports Performance Center opened, providing athletes with a 21,000-square-foot state-of-the-art training facility.

“There's no standing in line," Bishop says. "There's no tier system of which sport is more important. We can really do a good job of making sure that every team—whether that’s golf, softball, or soccer—knows that they are a premier sport for us.”

After stints at several other universities, Bishop says that it’s not even close how well everything was done at Utah State compared to other places. To him, it’s all about functionality of being able to develop athletes. 

Bishops goes on to say, “Athletes are coming first. We made this a focal point—how can we take them from essentially being under-recruited or a diamond-in-the-rough type to an elite-caliber player?” 

“When I came in, the people at ICON said, ‘We want it to be what you want. You tell us everything you want and we'll see what we can get done.’”

Dave Scholz, head strength and conditioning coach, says they could not have done it without ICON. 

“When I came in, the people at ICON said, ‘We want it to be what you want. You tell us everything you want and we'll see what we can get done.’” 

Everything in the center was designed, modified, and specialized with student-athletes in mind. That includes everything from weight racks set up to accommodate 7-foot-tall basketball players to treadmills that can handle 300-pound football players rehabbing from injury. 

“We’ve had people in here from the 49ers, where I used to work and the Seahawks. I’ve even had a guy who’s maybe one of the greatest strength coaches ever on the Olympic side come in, and they all say the facility is 10 out of 10,” Scholz says. 

Full-length windows stretch down from the top floor of the building, allowing incredible views of Cache Valley's beautiful mountains. But the display of equipment and the steady stream of student-athletes coming in and out of the facility is equally as impressive.

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