Edmond Pumping Up State Football
April 20, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. -
Of all the former NC State players who attend tonight's football reunion and Saturday's 3:30 p.m. Kay Yow Spring Game, none are likely to enjoy the moment and the mingling more than Corey Edmond.
A tenacious linebacker two decades ago and now the team's new Strength and Conditioning Coach, Edmond is excited to be back with the Pack -- and "looking forward" to seeing old teammates again.
"It was a no brainer. I was always looking for an opportunity to come back,'' said Edmond, whose loyalty to alma mater pulled him from a prominent position at Arizona.
On the State staff just a few months, it's a bit early to calculate Edmond's impact. Check back in August to measure the team's condition.
However, based on his previous work at Arizona and Oklahoma, coach Tom O'Brien's observation and response from State players, it's a reasonable assumption fitness won't be an issue for the Wolfpack next fall.
When it's hot, humid and the going gets tough in the fourth quarter, Edmond intends for the Pack to still have a reservoir of energy as well as a champion's resolve.
"Corey's doing a great job," O'Brien said after a recent practice. "He's an alumnus. He wants to be here. He comes with great experience from Oklahoma, where they won a national championship. But the best thing, the team has taken to him.
"When (the players) walk out of the strength area, they are drenched, they are tired. But they are smiling. That means some good work is going on in that area."
Benching, squatting, sprinting -- and smiling. Yes, Edmond injects a little levity along with lots of intensity during the arduous conditioning process. Not that the players will suddenly turn into Super Men flying around with a cape, but they can get bigger, stronger, faster.
"There's a time to have fun, but after warmups it's business," Pack senior safety Earl Wolff said. "He's helped me in every way possible. Everybody is making strides. He's a great fitness coach, a great guy, real religious, a man of God, which also is a blessing."
Edmond, in his 19th year of conditioning or coaching athletes, doesn't profess to implement an "exotic" training program.
He believes in a fundamentally sound approach, teaching techniques the right way, and underscoring the plan with a work ethic that creates champions.
Besides consulting O'Brien about players' needs, Edmond is a hawk at practice, evaluating individuals and noting what areas to shore up.
"The players bought in, day one,'' Edmond said. "They figured out I care about them and I care about winning. I told them: 'You're my guys. I love you. But here's the deal; we are not going to cut in any areas.'
"We want to invest in everyone, from the walk-ons to the star player. Everybody gets the same attention."
To Edmond, 42 years old, married and father of two children, it's not all about increasing strength and speed, might and muscle.
It's much about developing trust and relationships, helping players develop outside the football sphere.
"We want to build people,'' he said. "The greatest thing is to get an e-mail about how you impacted a life, not just his playing career. If you impacted a life, everything else falls in line -- (they become) better husbands, better fathers, better employees. That's what it's all about. I live and die by that."
Edmond can empathize with athletes. He knows the agony of battling an injury, which he did at State. He also knows the thrill of starting three years at inside linebacker, playing in three bowl games and subsequently spending two seasons in the NFL.
At 6-1 and roughly 225 pounds, Edmond still has that sinewy, sturdy stature of a linebacker who once slapped welts on opposing ball carriers.
"Mr. Intensity" is the sobriquet former star Pack linebacker Pat Teague penned on Edmond.
"He had the right mentality as a linebacker," Teague added. "He enjoyed the big hit. He enjoyed football, made it contagious, and he will do the same as a fitness coach.
"He had natural leadership abilities. You just want to be part of what he is doing because of his intensity and enthusiasm"
From the looks of it now, Wolfpack players and Edmond are on the same wave length, building muscles and more.
By A.J. Carr