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2023 NHSSCA National Coach of the Year Mike Crissinger


Mike Crissinger is currently the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and a physical education teacher at Perry High School (OH). He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Bowling Green State University in 2003 and his Master of Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy in 2007.

Coach Crissinger, who is CSCS certified through the NSCA, also currently coaches football at Perry High School and has previously coached basketball and track at the school. Before starting at Perry HS in 2014, Mike was a partner with Speed Strength Systems from 2012-2014 and owner of Apex Sports Training (2006-2012). While with Apex Sports Training, Crissinger was also the the strength coach for West Geauga and Riverside High School. He also had teaching stops in Clover (SC), Geauga County (OH) and West Geauga.

Coach Crissinger has had the privilege to serve as a state advisory board member and is the Ohio state director for the NHSSCA. In addition, Coach Crissinger has been able to be a member of or assist with of several committees for the NHSSCA. He was recognized as the NHSSCA Ohio State High School Strength Coach of the Year for 2019 and the NHSSCA Great Lakes Regional High School Strength Coach of the Year for 2022.

What do you enjoy most about being a strength and conditioning coach?

The one thing that I enjoy most is really getting to connect with my student-athletes throughout their entire school careers. We have a unique campus where all of our buildings (elementary, middle, high school) are all connected. This allows me to work with students of all ages and focus in on long-term development and finding the most efficient ways to train each athlete.

Please describe your training philosophy.

My training philosophy has been heavily influenced by Gary Schofield: Do no harm, move well, move strong, and move fast. I believe in using most optimal workouts, exercises, techniques and methods to help my athletes reach their highest level of athleticism. A top priority is also set on reducing potential injuries and individualizing workouts to meet an athlete’s specific stage of development and goals.

You have a strong background on speed training. In helping young athletes learn how to become better, how do you incorporate speed training into your strength training regimen?

At our school, we have a lot of multi-sport athletes and they are almost always in season.  We will add in as many training qualities as we can into a one or two week rotation.  What we emphasize depends on the time of year and the season we are in.  For example, sometimes we have dedicated speed/agility training days during the week, and during other times the speed/agility training is done before the lift for the day.  

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