By William Fallon
New to the Collegiate faculty this year, Sports Performance Coach Chris Peoples comes to the job with a passion for coaching and a drive to make Collegiate athletes better, and he is already making a positive impact on students. Michael Brost (19’) describes him as a “high energy coach who understands the rigors of day-to-day athletics and life at Collegiate.”
Growing up in Reidsville, North Carolina, Peoples was a sports enthusiast as a child. He played “any and every sport” that he could, but golf and football with his friends were his favorites. His enthusiasm for football led him to Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he played football as a wide receiver. Once his football career ended at Methodist, he “knew he wanted to coach.” Immediately after school, he got into teaching and coaching. He wanted to be involved with football but also wanted to be able to focus on coaching other sports. After being part of the year-round strength and conditioning programs in college, Peoples realized the benefits they provided him as an athlete and loved the change and improvements brought on by conditioning, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Because of this, he went back to school at UNC Greensboro (UNCG) to pursue his dreams as a coach. While at UNC Greensboro, he got a degree in kinesiology, the study of human and nonhuman animal-body movements, performance, and function by applying the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience. While attending UNCG, he received several certifications in Strength and Conditioning and did internships at Wake Forest University, N.C. State University, and High Point University as a strength and conditioning coach. Before coaching at Collegiate, he coached at Starmount High School and West Forsyth High School, both in North Carolina.
While at Collegiate, Peoples’ aspires to be the best coach he can and enjoys training athletes in a variety of sports and ages. He plans on continuing and upgrading his coaching certifications, specifically being USA Olympic Certified, and plans on attending clinics to improve his knowledge in coaching and strength and conditioning. He wants to learn as much as possible from Associate Athletic Director and coach Will O’Brien because of his experience in coaching at Collegiate, specifically with regards to the differences between college and high school coaching.
In his free time, Peoples also plans on receiving another degree either in Sports Performance, Education, or Sports Administration, “something that can help further my career.” Being a “huge movie guy,” he claims that his favorite movie is Remember The Titans because “it greatly reflects on who I am and what I like.” After being in Richmond and specifically Collegiate for only a few months, he says that his “short-time here has been amazing” and he hopes “to have a long career here.”
Peoples strives to improve each student and make them the best athlete they can be. With his knowledge of football and its rigorous weight room sessions and training, “Coach Peoples has had a positive influence on the growth and development of the members of the football team,” says Upper School Dean of Students and head varsity football coach Mark Palyo. He understands the daily life of students and creates energetic, positive, respectful, and focused environment in the weight room. “Coach Peoples’ rapport with the team was established early in the season. The team is focused when he talks to them, and I also see the team working in the manner as instructed by Coach,” says Palyo. He focuses on all details and makes each student the best they can be. “I like [Coach Peoples] because he does a great job advising even the just the smallest details in the lifting exercise,” says Nick Stepanian (’18).
Photos courtesy of Chris Peoples.