Decked out in full-blown University of Georgia attire, including his watch, Sean Hayes has finally found his dream job. The former Pride grad has had more than his fair share of jobs in the strength and conditioning field, and is now happy and settled down south with the knowledge and drive Springfield College has helped give him.
Hayes started his journey here at Springfield College in 1992. He was a varsity member of the lacrosse team, and an undergrad student in the Exercise Science program formerly known as Health Fitness. Hayes firmly believes that no other school could have provided him with the type of experiences that Springfield did.
“I think the relationships you make [at Springfield] are hard to beat,” said Hayes. “The atmosphere, the education, the professors’ care is all great. The biggest thing is the community atmosphere at Springfield is like no other, and it expands beyond the campus. It is irreplaceable. You can’t get an experience like this anywhere else.”
Receiving a BA in Health Fitness and M.Ed. in Applied Exercise Science, Hayes immediately plunged into the field. Hayes started out at the University of Tulsa where he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach, but quickly moved on to his most challenging job at Harvard University as the director of strength and conditioning.
“It was tough,” recalled Hayes. “I was working with seven sports myself, as a director, which you don’t really see ever. I left my house every day at 4:30 a.m and left work at 7 p.m….It just didn’t faze me then. Work was life.”
Despite the crazy work schedule that Hayes took on, he loved his work and was able to stand tall due to the tools that Springfield College gave him.
“The biggest part is the hands-on weight room experience and hands-on practical experience on campus that this school provides are like no other,” explained Hayes. “Part of your course work is learning, getting your hands dirty, being in the weight room and not just learning book knowledge. Book knowledge is great, but to be a good strength coach you need hands-on knowledge.”
But after Hayes married his college girlfriend Susanne (also a Springfield alum) and welcomed two baby girls, he knew it was time for a change.
Hayes accepted the job of Associates Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic sports in 2010 at the University of Georgia. Now that he has two girls, Hayes doesn’t want to miss a moment of them growing up. The job allows him to work with great athletes and get home at a reasonable hour to spend time with his family and relax.
“The University of Georgia is a great place,” said Hayes. “They have provided me with a great opportunity to work with great people, great administration and [a] great athletic support staff. [I’m] working at the highest level. It is a blessing every day.”
Along with his passion of strength and conditioning, Hayes also has a passion for Springfield. Hayes came back to Springfield last Saturday, April 7 for the Exercise Science and Sports Studies Reunion and Academic Symposium. He imparted wisdom that Springfield once taught him.
Hayes spoke about corrective movement patterns in a collegiate weight room setting. Although Hayes is now residing in Georgia, he still takes time out of his busy schedule to give back to a place that gave so much to him, Springfield College.