Associate strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Hoy joined the Ohio State men’s hockey team in early August. Long before, the Buckeyes had seen his work firsthand, even if they didn’t know his name.
“When I was at Robert Morris, we played Ohio State,” Hoy said. “In talking to these guys, they’re just like ‘Man, every time we turn around you guys were there. You never got tired, you were always hitting us.’”
Before joining Ohio State, Hoy worked as a strength and conditioning coach all over the country. He’s coached at his own gym in Pittsburgh, with the gold medal-winning 2018 US Under-18 Women’s National Team and most recently at Robert Morris University, where the Colonials faced off against Ohio State multiple times during Hoy’s career.
Hoy said he prides himself on the way he prepares his teams for the ice. He spends his time working out players, evaluating them during practice to identify their needs and, above all, making sure the team is game ready.
“I’m responsible for a lot of aspects of physical preparation,” he said. “I’m making sure the guys are ready to go, I’m working with the athletic training staff to make sure they’re healthy … I’m going to recondition them, making sure they’re ready to go and they’re game ready all the time.”
One aspect of the job Hoy focuses on is the relationship he forms with the team and each individual player. He works with each player to assess where they are and ensure they are in the best possible condition when they hit the ice.
With the science behind strength and conditioning improving since Hoy entered the field nearly 20 years ago, there is a greater focus on each individual player rather than assuming a strength and conditioning routine works for everyone.
The lessons from Hoy and the athletic training staff, however, don’t end in the weight room, or even on the ice.
“What I feel like we’re doing is not preparing them to possibly play hockey at the next level … but we want them to be able to contribute to society in a positive way beyond college,” Hoy said. “When they’re done we want them to be able to enter the real world and have a positive impact from what they do.”
Once the preparation is finalized for each game, Hoy said he holds a different perspective when his team enters the rink.
Coaches and players focus on running plays and optimizing their strategy on the ice to win. Hoy still wants the team to win, but he has a different set of expectations for his players than most going into their games.
“I feel like I haven’t done a good enough job if our team is being out-skated, out-conditioned, even out-hustled,” Hoy said. “I want to get the guys going. I want to be the one winning in all those areas every time. I also feel like I’m not doing my job if guys aren’t game ready.”
While Hoy has only been at Ohio State for about a month, head coach Steve Rohlik believes he’s already left an impression on the team.
“In the small sample we’ve had, he’s made a big impact,” Rohlik said. “No. 1 because he wants to be here … his energy, his knowledge and what he brings, his history, and the work he’s done for almost 20 years. Our guys have bought into his tremendous work ethic.”
As Hoy prepares for his first season with Ohio State, his message to the team is clear.
“I want to be the team that we’re talented and we’re going to outwork you. We’re going to bring both those together,” he said. “That starts here on the ice. Everything we do, it’s a mentality, a mindset that were going to work hard, give 100 percent effort and we’re engaged in doing everything we do.”