BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College Director of Athletics Tim Curry recently announced the hiring of Patrick O'Neal as the department's first-ever strength and condition coach.
"We are very excited about having Patrick join our staff and about the creation of this position," said Curry. "Patrick is no stranger to Union, having been a former student-athlete and then an assistant coach for the football team.
"The position of strength and conditioning coach is one that is long overdue here at Union. It is also a role that will serve all 23 of our athletic programs, not just one or two. Patrick will be working with each athletic program to help each student-athlete perform at their very best."
A 2008 graduate of Union, O'Neal played four years for the Bulldog football team, earning first team all-conference honors as a linebacker three times. He recorded a then-school record 143 tackles during his senior season in 2007 and currently ranks second all-time with 390 career tackles. In addition to the on the field honors, O'Neal was twice named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and earned CoSIDA Academic All-America College Division first team honors in 2007.
"This is a great opportunity, especially given the fact I player here and now get to contribute to my alma mater and give it something it's never had before," said O'Neal.
After his playing days at Union were complete, O'Neal spent the 2008 season as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs before playing three seasons professionally in the German Football League. He spent two season with the Berlin Alder, helping them to the 2009 German Bowl championship and the 2010 European Bowl championship. O'Neal finished his playing career with the Dresden Monarchs.
In the fall of 2011, O'Neal was a strength and condition coach at the University of Tennessee, working primarily with the football team. In January of 2012, he became a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Cincinnati. O'Neal spent time working with the football, women's tennis, men's soccer, women's golf and the track teams for the Bearcats. He remained in Cincinnati until he left to returned to Union.
O'Neal said his goal as the strength and condition coach is to help make the student-athletes compete better.
"It's my goal to help reduce injuries all around, help the athletes play longer on the field, to make them bigger, stronger and faster," he added.
O'Neal is married to the former Mallory Lavoy. Mallory is a former member of the Lady Bulldog softball program.