It's a pretty good time to be Caitlin Quinn.
Quinn, an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Florida State University, is the assistant strength coach of the year as determined by the National Strength Coaches Association. She'll receive her award at a conference in January.
And when you top it off with the team she works with making it to the NCAA Division I women's volleyball Sweet 16, it's pretty sweet indeed.
"I tell you, it's all pretty good," the Pittsfield native said when we spoke earlier in the week.
Quinn works primarily with the volleyball and softball teams and was in Champaign, Ill., where the Seminoles lost to Wisconsin 3-1 in the volleyball tournament.
"Things are very good at Florida State right now," she said, referring to the volleyball team and a football team there that's got some big game next month. "That's one of the cool things about this place that top to bottom, there's really not a weak link in the chain."
Quinn was notified about three weeks ago that she won what a press release called "a prestigious" award. The release went on to cite her dedication to the strength and conditioning profession.
"My boss nominated me. There's a criteria sheet," she said, when we spoke before she left for Illinois. "If you qualify, the top three qualifiers from that go to a voting process for the members. The members vote on the candidates.
"I don't know how I came out on top, but I did."
Quinn said she was sitting in the softball office with the coaches when she received an email.
"They were talking about this recruiting camp coming up. I looked at my phone and said ‘Oh my God, I won,' " Quinn said. "They knew I was up for it. It was pretty cool that I was in there with them.
"It was exciting. I couldn't believe it."
For the record, Quinn is the daughter of Jack and Catherine Quinn and older sister of Dempsey and Brodie. Colleen graduated from St. Joseph and Springfield College, where she got a B.S. in Applied Exercise Science.
Quinn was following in her father's footsteps by going to Springfield, where he was a standout football player and where her brother Brodie has been on the football team. But when Caitlin got there, this wasn't the career she had been planning.
"It's funny. I applied to school to be an English major because I loved writing, and then switched to [Physical Education] before I started classes," she said. "I thought I really hate this."
She eventually switched into Exercise Science and the rest, as we say, is history.
"The next logical step would be to be a head strength and conditioning coach," she said. "The only problem at this level is that there's a lot of administration that goes along with that."
She said that her future might be going down to the Division II or III level and run a program.
Until that happens, Caitlin Quinn can enjoy FSU's success -- and her's.
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