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Meet the Coaches

Meet the Coaches

Jesse Hawkins

The PIT Strength & Conditioning Coach, Manager

After my first year of collegiate basketball I entered into an organized strength and conditioning program for the first time. During this experience I watched the changes happening to me and happening to my teammates through the program and was hooked. I changed my major from business administration to exercise science and never looked back. I absolutely loved the ability for people to enhance performance and change their body using science and hard work.

I’ve carried this passion into The PIT and every day I get to help people chase their goals. When I can help someone improve their athleticism or make a change to their body, I get so excited to watch the confidence of that person sky-rocket. I wake up and go to a job where my only goal is to change lives for the better, I am grateful and lucky.

Certifications, Education and Athletic Experience

  • Dual Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, and Fitness and Human Performance
  • Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach(NSCA)
  • Certified Functional Strength Coach
  • Collegiate Basketball(2 years)
  • High School Basketball Coach(7 years)
  • CPR/AED Certified

Blog Posts:

coach-crystal-headshotCrystal Crader

The PIT Strength & Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer

I am a mother of four incredible kids, a wife, a Strength and Conditioning Coach, and a student at Heartland Community College. I have always been active. When I came to Bloomington, I got my first job, got married, joined Four Seasons, and took a kick boxing class. I was hooked! I loved that I could move quicker and stronger, and I was good at it! From there I was certified as a fitness instructor, and taught Kickboxing and a variety of other classes for over ten years at Four Seasons. Through that experience I saw changes in myself and in others that were taking classes. I wanted to do more, so I became a Certified Personal Trainer and from there a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

I love what I do. I love being able to meet someone and learn what makes them tick, why they are where they are, and teaching them the confidence to get up and move. Seeing even the smallest improvement in the body, or being able to do just one thing that you couldn’t do before makes a difference, moving is key.  That’s it - that’s all we have to do. Move. Life is so busy and there is always an excuse, but we were given this one body, we need to care for it!

Certifications:

  • AFAA Certified Fitness Instructor
  • AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
  • Certified Functional Strength Coach
  • CPR/AED Certified

Education:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications

Aaron Patterson

The PIT Strength & Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer

From dreaming of my own athletic success, to helping other athletes achieve their own, sports have been a constant in my life. My passions for sports, training, and helping others have led me to success in my career as a strength and conditioning coach. They have also allowed me to build the relationships necessary to learn how to get the most out of the athletes I am fortunate to coach. No two athletes are identical, so coaching them that way would be unproductive. Each athlete is unique in their personality and training needs, and I approach each training session with that in mind.Much of my experience prior to joining The PIT was gained at the collegiate level working with the Parkland College (Champaign, IL) men’s basketball and golf teams, including the 2014 season in which the Cobras’ golf team won the M-WAC and Region 24 titles before placing 10th as a team at the NJCAA Division II national tournament. I have since found my niche working with tennis players, including 2016 IHSA girls state champion and USTA Top 100 player, Madison Tattini. In addition to tennis, I have found success with other overhead athletes in baseball and volleyball, as well as helping all athletes increase their speed and quickness on the field or court. Regardless of the age or sport, my goal is always to encourage, inspire, motivate and leave a lasting, positive impact.

Certifications:

  • NSCA-CPT
  • Certified Speed and Agility Coach (CSAC)

Education:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; Business Administration
  • Associate’s Degree in Exercise Physiology

Blog Posts:

Dylan Ray

The PIT Strength & Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer

I was first exposed to strength training through high school athletics. What I didn’t realize at the time was that those half-cocked football lifting sessions would turn into a lifelong obsession and pursuit of high level strength and technical performance. After two dedicated years in college and seeing the transformation my body underwent putting on 55 pounds, I made the decision to switch my major from business to biology and pursue a career path in athletic performance. Over the past eight years I’ve dabbled in a variety of training disciplines, attempting to accumulate firsthand knowledge and hone my coaching technique while voraciously consuming technical literature. My goal here as a PIT Coach is to draw from all of this accumulated time spent under the barbell and in the weight room and present that knowledge to members in the most clear, concise and effective way possible. I continually push members to display both the virtuosity of movement, and the work ethic required to meet their individual goals. I wake up every day knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s health and well-being that day, and it makes this the most satisfying job in the world.

Certifications:

  • NSCA Certified Personal Trainer
  • CrossFit L-1
  • USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach
  • CPR/AED Certified

Education:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Illinois State University

Blog Posts:

Alex Nigro

The PIT Strength & Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer

My experience with strength and conditioning started in high school. I was a team captain in wrestling and learned the value of pushing my mind and body to their limits. It was my coach that introduced me to the weight room to better my performance. When my wrestling career ended I continued to weight train and found a new avenue to challenge myself in, that being tested bodybuilding and powerlifting.

This all lead me to pursue and complete my BS in Exercise Science, during which I volunteered to intern with ISU’s strength and conditioning coaching staff. Following my undergrad I interned and worked for a sports performance company called EFT Sports Performance where I gained valuable experience coaching and training clients from all areas of the fitness spectrum, from injured and rehabbing athletes, to general fitness enthusiasts, to NFL professionals.

I use all my experience and knowledge to help our PIT members get the most out of their training. I want our members to train hard, improve their performance, and see injury-free results.

Certifications:

  • NCSF Certified Personal Trainer
  • XPS EXOX Performance Specialist
  • CPR/AED Certified

Education:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science

Achievements:

  • Middle School Wrestling Coach (2 yrs)

Blog Posts:

Chad Letterle

The PIT Strength & Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer

I am a retired firefighter with 22 years of service. I spent the last 7 years as Fire Chief. As Chief I became a certified personal trainer and implemented a physical fitness program to help my firefighters stay fit.

I have coached football on both the youth and high school level combine for 12 years. I am currently the lead Strength Coach and RB coach for my alma mater, Lincoln Community High School. I have always been interested in strength training and decided that this is the field I wanted to work in. I have trained/coached athletes of all ages and from all sports.

I am also currently training as a competitive powerlifter and looking forward to seeing how far I can progress in the sport.

Certifications:

  • ACE Personal Trainer
  • ISSA Strength/Conditioning Specialist
  • House of Speed-Speed Coach
  • ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Blog Posts: