Trinity University’s student athletes have an extensive support system complemented by both the academic and athletic departments of the campus. At the center of this strong foundation is Daniel Martinez, the head strength and conditioning coach for Trinity’s athletic programs and coordinator of the Sports Performance Center. Martinez, who is no stranger to Trinity, previously worked as the fitness trainer for the Tiger volleyball program in 2007. This program eventually lead him to his current role in the Trinity athletics powerhouse, where he serves as the strength and conditioning specialist for 17 of Trinity’s athletic teams.
Martinez was born to a military family in Keflabik, Iceland, which allowed him to attend schools in Hawaii, Japan, North Carolina, South Carolina and California before competing in track and field for the University of Texas at San Antonio.
He graduated from Texas State University with an undergraduate degree in exercise and sports science and a minor in sports psychology, then earned his master’s degree in strength and conditioning from Edith Cowan University. His extensive qualifications also include certification from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, the title of level two strength & conditioning coach from the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and the designation of USA weightlifting sports performance coach. Prior to his career at Trinity, he served as a consultant for various NBA teams — including the Golden State Warriors — and various NFL teams — including the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. Collegiately, Martinez worked with the University of Texas Sports Science program, Penn State University Performance Science, University of Virginia men’s basketball and the University of Louisville Olympic Sports program.
After traveling across the globe to further his education and career experiences, Martinez found San Antonio to be the perfect home to enjoy the company of his wife, Kelly, and his children, Jace and London. Career-wise, he found everything he was looking for in the Trinity athletics program.
“Coming from a military family, as my own family put down progressively deeper roots in San Antonio, it became that much more important to me to stay grounded. It was extremely important that I have a career that allows me to be present and keep my family involved in my work.” Martinez said.
The vast experience Martinez brings to Trinity University has shaped the methods he uses to organize each sport’s training program. While summarizing his philosophy, Martinez said, “I’ve combined unique experiences that apply strength and conditioning with sport science practices cohesively. I’m fortunate to have been influenced by different cultures throughout my life, which has definitely shifted my perspective on things. Ultimately, for me it comes down to embracing each day as an opportunity to learn and grow.”
Miranda Vega, a first-year guard for Trinity’s women’s basketball team, feels that her team’s workouts with Martinez have helped their fitness tremendously. “The workouts are very well-structured, and they always have a goal for each specific sport. He makes sure to explain the techniques and how they will help us in real game situations,” Vega said. “My favorite part of the program is that we start and finish together. It’s a great feeling to work hard with your teammates. Even when we are tired from running or lifting, we all know that it will only make us better in the long run.”
“Daniel has us work a lot on hang power cleans and front squats. We also work on quick and concise movements when we run. He keeps the dynamics of our sport in mind when he builds the workouts, so they are very helpful, said Lauren Rich, a first-year pitcher for Trinity’s softball team.
In order to get the most out of each athlete’s time, Martinez is also responsible for coordinating his workout plans with each sport’s practice schedule.
“One of our biggest challenges in strength and conditioning is schedule coordination,” Martinez said. “The challenge for every program is the same: figuring out how to work cohesively to get the most out of a team and each athlete individually at key time points.”
Martinez accomplishes these tasks with the support of an experienced staff that contribute to the SPC’s smoothly flowing program. “It takes a team to get this done, and I am grateful for the support of our facilities director Seth Asbury and his staff.”
Coming upon the anniversary of his first year as the head strength and conditioning coach for Trinity’s athletic programs, Martinez has set several goals for the upcoming sports seasons.
Most importantly, he recognizes that short-term goals contribute to long-term goals.
“I often say that we do not land on top of the mountain by falling there. One of the central goals for our athletes is to get them to understand that big performances are the product of hard work put together intelligently over time,” Martinez said.
Specifically, Martinez aims to continue reducing athletic injuries while improving the mindset and confidence of each athlete in the program so they can compete at their best day in and day out.
Amongst all of his qualifications, the passion that Martinez brings to his job is perhaps his biggest strength. “I think having the opportunity to come in everyday and support our teams as they grow and develop is the absolute best.”
With the expertise and motivation Daniel Martinez brings to the Tiger athletics program, Trinity University’s student athletes are sure to reach peak performance in the upcoming year.