Gordon joins Pitt strength staff
WHEELING – DeVaughn Gordon is coming home, almost.
The former Wheeling Central grid standout is a rising star in the world of strength and conditioning on the collegiate level. His most recent ascent in the profession has brought him much closer to his roots.
Gordon became a member of the University of Pittsburgh strength and conditioning staff in January.
“I received a phone call from Mike Stacchiotti (new Pitt head strength and conditioning coach) and asked if I was interested in joining him as an assistant on his staff,” Gordon said. “He already knew my answer, so I replied, ‘When do you want me there?’ I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to get to work with great leaders such as head coach Pat Narduzzi and Mike Stacchiotti. We also have a great group of individuals on the staff (Austin Stephan, Tyrone Smith and Brandon Martuccio) who make it enjoyable to work with and go to war with every day.”
He joins the Panthers after a one-year stay at Mississippi State where he was an assistant football strength and conditioning coach. He assisted the Bulldogs with the design and implementation of football strength and conditioning.
“I love it. There is never a day that it feels like a day of work,” Gordon said. “I’m working exclusively with the football team, and right now we have just around 90 players. When the incoming freshman arrive in the summer we will get up to around 110 or so.
“No one is with the players more than the strength and conditioning staff,” he added. “During the off-season we have a certain amount of mandatory training weeks up until spring ball begins. During those weeks we are allotted 8 hours of training per week.”
Gordon is charged with making his players better physical specimens. But he also understands the big picture, bidding to develop the entire person.
“It’s easy to say that my responsibility as assistant strength coach is to help athletes become bigger, faster and stronger and to ultimately become a better football player,” Gordon noted. “But it goes way beyond sets and reps. With this game comes wins, losses and failure.
“And for 18-22-year-old young men to spend countless hours pouring every ounce of blood, sweat and tears preparing for the opportunity to play only 12 guaranteed games on Saturdays in the fall is a lot to handle,” he added. “It is our job to help prepare them for the physical, mental and emotional rigors of the college football season.”
His stay at Mississippi State was truncated after the head football coach, Joe Moorhead, was terminated.
“That is the nature of the beast. When the head coach of the program is let go, most times the staff is not retained. It’s nothing personal, just business, and I wish the football program nothing but the best moving forward,” Gordon offered. “I really enjoyed my time at Mississippi State. It was a great opportunity for me.”
Prior his stint in Starkville, Gordon was assistant strength and conditioning coach at East Carolina University for two years. He assisted with the design and implementation of strength programs for football and was also responsible for the design and implementation of strength programs for softball and track.
“When I chose this career path, I didn’t ask to gain any recognition whatsoever. To me, I am just doing what I’m supposed to do in life,” Gordon offered. “I am the type of person who finds the most joy in celebrating the success of others.
“In the summer of 2018, I watched my “Day 1” best friend, DeMarr Moulton, graduate from UNC School of Law after first earning his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. That means more to me than any logo that I am wearing on my shirt,” he continued. “I am not one who is looking for recognition. I am very humble.”
Gordon cut his teeth in the profession at North Carolina Central in 2016. He assisted the head strength and conditioning coach with football, helping the team win the MEAC championship. Gordon was responsible for designing and implementing strength programs for men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, track, tennis and golf.
“I am totally committed to Pitt and the athletes I work with. My goal is to be consistent every day and give them all I’ve got,” Gordon said. “I am as passionate about them as individuals as I am about them as athletes. I want to see them succeed on the football field but also in the game of life.”
Gordon received his degree in exercise physiology from West Liberty University in 2014. He and his fiance, Jazmine Scurlock of Rochester, Pa., are planning to be married this summer.
Gordon, now age 29, starred for Mike Young’s Maroon Knights. The talented running back helped Central pocket three state championships while earning first-team all-state and all-OVAC accolades.
He was also a basketball and track standout at the East Wheeling school. He went on to play football at West Liberty. It is on the hilltop that Gordon realized his life’s calling.
“About a year before I graduated at West Liberty University, I realized what I wanted to do – that was to be a collegiate strength and conditioning coach. I didn?t know where this career would take me, nor did I care,” Gordon noted. “I?m just extremely grateful to have been been able to work with great programs, athletes and coaches during this journey.?
Safe to say, Gordon is living his dream.
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