Buffalo Bills trainers to speak at SUNY Cortland Sports Medicine Symposium


Editor's Note: The following is a press release from SUNY Cortland.

For over a century, it was a given that football games are won and lost in the trenches.

Yet in the modern NFL, one of the biggest keys to success is keeping players healthy and in peak physical shape. The people who do just that for the Buffalo Bills, members of the team’s strength and conditioning and athletic training staffs, will speak at SUNY Cortland’s Sports Medicine Symposium. The event, to be held on Monday, March 26, runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Corey Union Function Room.

“The speakers are going to discuss topics all across the board, from exercise science to fitness development and sport management,” said Assistant Athletic Trainer Amanda Williams, chair of the Sports Medicine Symposium. “There will be time at the end of each talk, about 10 minutes, for questions and answers. It will be beneficial for students to come.”

Denny Kellington, an assistant athletic trainer for the Bills, will open the conference with his talk, “Athletic Training Strategies at the Collegiate and Professional Levels,” from 9 to 10 a.m. Kellington was previously the head athletic trainer for football and an adjunct professor at Syracuse University and has worked for Ohio State University and the Denver Broncos.

He will address common recovery techniques and their role in athletic training as well as assessing the relationship between athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches. Kellington also will explore the connections between sports science and athletic training.

Mark Loecher, a strength and conditioning assistant for the Bills, will follow from 10 to 11 a.m. with his talk, “Sports Sciences and their Application.” Loecher received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise physiology from Mercyhurst (Pa.) University, where he was a member of the Division I ice hockey team. After his graduation, he served as strength and conditioning coach for Mercyhurst’s men’s ice hockey team and also has experience working with the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL and the Rochester Americans of the AHL.

The learning objectives of Loecher’s lecture include the sports science concepts currently being used by the Buffalo Bills, understanding sports science technology such as geographic information systems (GPS) tracking and heart rate monitoring and how to use sports science concepts to establish training camp and in-season practice schedules.

Will Greenberg, an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Bills, will discuss “Psychology of Nutrition: ‘Caught in the Act’” from 11 a.m. until noon. He previously served as head strength and conditioning coach at Southern Utah University and worked in various capacities at the United States Military Academy, Appalachian State University and the University of Florida.

Greenberg will address understanding the mental aspect of nutrition, implementing life-changing nutritional habits and the mental challenges associated with them.

The keynote speaker is Hal Luther, assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Bills. Luther’s wife, Kristen Luther, worked as an athletic trainer and as the director of strength and conditioning at SUNY Cortland from 2005 to 2013.

Hal Luther worked as the director of strength and conditioning at Syracuse University and was the assistant strength and conditioning coach at North Carolina University before he landed in Buffalo. He will open his lecture, “NFL Strength and Conditioning: ‘A View from the Inside,” with the story of his personal journey as a student at Springfield (Mass.) College and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to his current position with the Bills.

He also will speak about how to identify training cycles for athletes in the calendar year using the macro, meso and microcycle periodization method. Luther will discuss understanding training strategies for athletes in all phases of their careers, taking into account their age, injury history and position played. Finally, he will explain how athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and the coaching staffs of teams can achieve successful communication strategies.

Luther’s keynote address, which is scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and follows a lunch break, is free and open to the public.

The event is open to students, SUNY Cortland alumni and local professionals, who are eligible to earn 4.5 continuing education credits. Registration fees are $10 for students, $30 for alumni and $35 for professionals. The cost includes lunch. Those interested may contact Amanda Williams at 607-753-5944.

The seventh-annual Sports Medicine Symposium is sponsored by SUNY Cortland’s Athletic Training program, the Kinesiology Department, the Bert Mandelbaum ’75, M.D. Sports Medicine Lecture Grant and the Campus Artist and Lecture Series (CALS).