Ripon College welcomes first strength and conditioning coach

Shelly Haberman
Brandon Zemke

Brandon Zemke has been named as the first-ever strength and conditioning coach in Ripon College’s storied history. His first day is August 17.

Zemke comes to Ripon College with a wealth of knowledge and experience from his time working at Division 1 and Division 3 NCAA programs to prepare student-athletes for collegiate athletics.

He most recently served as the head athletic performance coach at Lawrence University, and prior to that as the assistant athletic performance coach with the University of Vermont. Zemke’s hire by Ripon Medical Center, a member of Agnesian HealthCare, demonstrates a strong commitment to providing resources to enhance athletic performances through quality preparation, planning and educational guidance. 

Injury prevention, efficient movement education, and proper lifting techniques are the core concentrations of each training session and throughout our pre-season, in-season, post-season and off-season planning.

Ripon College is welcoming this new position to support the Willmore Center, a robust exercise science department and the increased enrollment of athletes, according to Ryan Kane, athletic director/men’s basketball coach. “When the Willmore Center was being designed, we had every intention that when the time was right we could provide our athletes with someone to utilize all the tools that the Willmore Center offers not just our student-athletes but programming for the membership of our community as well.”

Kane explains that Ripon College athletes will benefit from Zemke’s leadership in maximizing their potential physically.

“There is a diversity to our student-athlete population around strength and conditioning,” Kane says. “Brandon will be able to provide a solid foundation for those that are less proficient in their personal performance and get those that have potential the ability to maximize it. We should ultimately see the results in our performance as individuals, as well as teams when we compete against our opponents in and out of conference.

Zemke is looking forward to joining Ripon Medical Center and its athletic training team, as well as Ripon College and its great academic and athletic reputation.

“During the interview process, it was clear to me how passionate everyone is toward the addition of the strength and conditioning coach position, and they have welcomed me as part of the family,” Zemke says. “I cannot wait to get started and contribute to the success of Ripon athletics. I am most looking forward to getting to meet the student athletes and getting to work with them. I hope that I can have a positive impact by increasing their performance in their sport and teaching them life lessons through sport.”

Zemke will work with athletes throughout the year to develop their physical abilities of strength, speed and conditioning to help them achieve their performance goals. 

“Athletes will also develop leadership, team chemistry and growth mindsets,” Zemke explains. “This position will also work to educate athletes on various lifestyle factors, such as sleep, nutrition and hydration, so that they can perform at their best on and off the field.”

Zemke plans to relocate to Ripon in the near future. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, hunting, fishing and being outdoors.

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