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Profiles on Campus
From Weight Training to Peewee Sports

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
February 13, 2008

Paul Chapman is a busy man.

During the week on a heavy day, the athletic department’s director of strength and conditioning sees as many as 300 UNH athletes who rely on his program to keep them in shape. Weeknights he can be found on the ice at Jackson’s Landing where he is actively involved in the youth hockey league.

Chapman is head coach of his 12-year-old son Tyler’s Peewee team and assistant coach of the Squirt team that daughter Brittani, 8, plays on.

He also helps out with their ski team and his daughter’s softball team. Oh, and both kids play musical instruments and he never misses a performance. And, he and his wife Kimberly, an instructor in the sociology department, are actively involved with the kids’ school, even accompanying them on field trips.

Durham Fire Chief Pete O’Leary, who also coaches youth hockey and runs into Chapman at the ice rink says, “Paul is always promoting the university. He gives a lot back. He’s really a part of the Durham community.”

So, how does he do it all? Well, judging from the way he puts together his athletic programs, it’s easy to see that discipline plays a major role in Chapman’s life.

His job is to organize strength training and conditioning programs for UNH athletes. That includes football, men’s and women’s hockey, women’s basketball, men’s soccer, track and field and alpine skiing.

“My motivation is result-orientated. When you see college or youth kids improve it is highly motivating,” Chapman says. “The programs vary sport to sport and individual to individual within a sport. That’s one of the things I like most about my job--I get to work with different types of athletes.”

After moving to Canada when he was a kid, Chapman grew up playing hockey. When he got too big for the sport, he switched to football and wound up getting a full athletic scholarship to Dickinson State University in North Dakota. He went on to play professional football with the Canadian Football League.

It was while he was in graduate school at the University of North Dakota that he decided he wanted to earn his living training athletes. He spent 10 years as the school’s director of strength and training before coming to UNH in 2002.

“I came to UNH for the opportunity to work for (athletic director) Marty Scarano and the UNH athletic programs,” Chapman says.

He thinks the student athletes benefit greatly from the structure of the strength and conditioning program, adding that the structure helps track their progress. All of the athletes he works with have to lift weights, from the swimmers and divers to the football players.

The process not only benefits their performance but helps to prevent injuries. It also plays into the university’s holistic philosophy of providing students will a well-rounded education.

“I know it sounds like a cliché, but we try to maximize their experience here,”
Chapman says. “We get kids who just want to try a college sport and then we have the men’s and women’s hockey teams that have some of the best athletes in the world. It’s constantly changing. I like that. I get to work with new kids all the time.”

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