Lew Caralla – The University at Buffalo

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Lew Caralla is the 2018 FootballScoop Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

In his one season on staff, Buffalo became one of the most improved teams in college football.

After posting a 6-6 record in 2017, the Bulls jumped to 10-4 — their most wins in a decade — with a MAC East Division championship.

That success led Geoff Collins to hire him away to become the head strength coach at Georgia Tech.

“Lew was one of four finalists for national strength coach of the year and did a masterful job of developing the student-athletes at the University at Buffalo. They had a great season and a large part of that was due to their gains in the weight room and offseason conditioning,” Collins said. “He was with me at Mississippi State and has been at Georgia Tech before, so he knows this place, he loves this place and I’m really excited to get him back on The Flats.”

A Defiance College graduate, Caralla played running back from 2005-08 while spending his summers as a strength intern at USF and Virginia. Upon graduation, he accepted a graduate assistant position at Mississippi State, then earned his first full-time position as an assistant strength coach at Georgia Tech. Assistant stints at Mississippi State and Michigan led to his first head strength job at North Texas in 2015 and then at Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016-17.

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Matt Balis [Notre Dame], Scott Sinclair [Georgia], Mike Sirignano [Appalachian State] and Caralla) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

Caralla will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.

Previous winners of the Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year award are Don Sommer (TCU, 2008), Joey Batson (Clemson, 2009), Kevin Yoxall (Auburn, 2010), Shannon Turley (Stanford, 2011), Kaz Kazadi (Baylor, 2012), Pat Ivey (Missouri, 2013), Zac Woodfin (UAB, 2014), Ken Mannie (Michigan State, 2015), Tim Socha (Washington, 2016) and Zach Duval (UCF, 2017).

Since 1965, the AstroTurf brand has been driven by forward thinking ingenuity. Today AstroTurf continuously improves its system design to deliver playing surfaces with the most realistic, sport-specific performance, longest lasting durability, and sound player protection. For more information please visit AstroTurf.com

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.