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Mitchell Faine joins Hillsdale College’s ath­letic department as the strength and con­di­tioning coach. (Photo: Hillsdale College ath­letic department | Courtesy)

The Hillsdale College ath­letic department wel­comed new strength and con­di­tioning coach Mitchell Faine to campus this fall. Faine, an Ohio native, attended the Uni­versity of Findlay, where he played football for four year and worked as a graduate assistant in the Oilers’ strength and con­di­tioning program.

He will be taking over for Patrick Gifford, who is now working at Florida Inter­na­tional Uni­versity as an asso­ciate strength and con­di­tioning coach. Faine will be over­seeing all of Hillsdale’s ath­letic teams, but because there are so many, he won’t work with them all directly. 

He will be cre­ating and imple­menting the workout pro­grams for the football, men’s bas­ketball, baseball, and softball teams, as well as designing the swimming team’s workouts for the swim coaches to conduct with their team. He will also work with the women’s bas­ketball and vol­leyball teams during their off­seasons. 

“Right now I’m just focused on meeting everyone and getting acquainted,” Faine said. “I hope to further develop the ath­letes, not only in strength, but in speed as well, and work to prevent injuries, which can be a key thing for teams.”

Faine arrived to campus in July and spent the month preparing for the arrival of the football and vol­leyball teams. Once the football players arrived for training camp during the second week of August, Faine had the chance to dive right into working with the team. He worked with the Chargers not only to increase their strength and get them in shape for the season, but also work on the little things to prevent injury. 

Junior tight end Martin Petersen said he has enjoyed his expe­ri­ences with Faine in the first few weeks of the pre­season. 

“Coach Faine has been awesome to work with so far. You can tell he’s already pas­sionate about Charger ath­letics,” Peterson said. “He’s a great addition to the department. I’m excited to work with him more this off­season.” 

Pre­venting injuries will be a big pri­ority for Faine; he’s had too many expe­ri­ences with injury himself. He’s torn his meniscus and ACL, both of which required surgery, and had a cyst removal, all of which has occurred since he began par­tic­i­pating in high school ath­letics.

“Those injuries are what have inspired me to work with ath­letes and help them compete at their highest levels,” Faine said.

Despite his injuries, Faine still managed to claim a spot on the Second-Team All-Ohio roster as a quar­terback in his junior year of high school, which earned him plenty of attention from col­leges, including Hillsdale. He said he’s liked the school ever since he first visited while still in high school, but he ulti­mately chose Findlay to be closer to home, as he is from Ada, Ohio.

During his time at Findlay, Faine was limited to com­peting in only two games during his junior year due to injuries. But he made the most of his time, as he worked with the ath­letic department when he couldn’t be playing on the field. He majored in strength and con­di­tioning while earning a coaching minor from the uni­versity, and then con­tinued on to earn his master’s degree in edu­cation. He also has a degree in per­sonal training.

From there, Faine went on to work at Ohio Northern Uni­versity for two years, where he built its strength and con­di­tioning program. Even with his success and key role at ONU, Faine said he’s always been drawn to Hillsdale and its ath­letes, which inspired him to take on a new role here. 

“I came to Hillsdale for the oppor­tunity,” Faine said. “I’ve always been inter­ested in not only the talent of the ath­letes, but also the high stan­dards they’re held to off the field of com­pe­tition.” 

Assistant ath­letic director and media rela­tions and event manager Brad Monas­tiere said he thinks Faine has a lot of talents to bring to Hillsdale’s strength and con­di­tioning program.

“I think a strength he has is the right com­bi­nation of his own ideas and con­cepts and his will­ingness to allow the ath­letes to lead him as well,” Monas­tiere said. “I think there will be a good part­nership with our ath­letes. He really under­stands the indi­vid­u­ality of ath­letes’ needs and he has an open mind.” 

Monas­tiere said Faine not only brings great ideas and under­standing, but also a unique per­son­ality that he thinks will com­plement with the ath­letes he works with.

“He seems like a rather soft-spoken guy, but I haven’t seen him in the context of the weight room,” Monas­tiere said. ”You get the feeling that his actions will speak for him more than from a volume respect, and I think that’s some­thing our ath­letes will really respect.”