Strengthening a Community—Literally

Former strength and conditioning coach Dawn Strout honored by endowment of position – By Alexander A. Pyles

Published in Colby Magazine

Dawn Strout says she tried to be there for everyone at Colby.

It’s why the former USA Hockey strength and conditioning coach threw herself into learning about Nordic skiing. Why, as the coach responsible for ensuring Colby’s NCAA athletes reached peak performance, she also taught strength classes for the entire campus community. Why it meant so much when a non-varsity athlete asked for a personalized strength plan or when a former athlete told Strout how her instruction prepared her for a career as a physical therapist. 

For nine years, Strout was the head strength and conditioning coach in Waterville, lending her considerable knowledge and experience to athletes, students, faculty, staff … well, pretty much everyone.

“It was a community in the sense of there wasn’t one sport that was better or more important than any other. There wasn’t one student, or student athlete, male or female, that was any better than anyone else,” Strout said. “Everyone had the same, and deserved the same, kind of opportunity to become better. In regards to that, my door was always open.”

Perhaps that’s why an anonymous donor decided to name the endowed position in Strout’s honor. Endowed positions carry with them prestige and a dedicated revenue source and often pay tribute to individuals who left legacies—in this case, the Dawn Strout Strength and Conditioning Coach at Colby.

Now an assistant professor of exercise science at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Strout said she doesn’t know who’s making the gift. She doesn’t venture a guess. After helping hundreds—thousands?—in her almost-decade at Colby, how could she?

“I was very blessed and fortunate to be able to work in a place like that,” she said.

Count Tracey Cote, in her 22nd year as the Nordic skiing head coach at Colby, among those who feel fortunate to have been blessed by Strout.

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