Washington State’s Mike Leach puts his trust into strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo

The partnership works because Leach and Loscalzo have similar leadership styles and philosophies. Both men believe in efficiency over volume and value opinions and input from their staff.

Had Jason Loscalzo been a little more athletic, he might never have ventured into the world of strength coaching.

At least that’s the joke Drew Petersen likes to tell when asked to define the moment he knew that his protégé, Washington State football’s head strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo, had the makings of a good strength coach.

“He was destined to be a great strength and conditioning coach. He was a marginal athlete, but a great student and he had phenomenal work ethic,” says Petersen, the longtime strength and conditioning coach at Humboldt State, who coached Loscalzo when he was a fullback on the Lumberjacks’ football team from 1996-99.

“Never did anyone who was a great athlete get into strength and conditioning, because if they were, they didn’t have to work as hard,” Petersen says. “The ones who get into strength and conditioning are the ones who put their nose to the grindstone and worked hard and become decent players. That was Jason. He was a super hard worker, and with that, he developed a real quest to understand the science behind it and how it worked.”

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That industrious nature and constant quest to enhance his understanding of human physiology dovetailed to make Loscalzo the kind of strength coach that head football coaches covet.

“It’s a position where persistence is the most important thing,” says WSU’s Mike Leach.

Persistence got Loscalzo from Humboldt State to a graduate-assistant job at Arkansas, then to full-time assistant strength-coaching stints as Nevada, Marshall and Auburn and then — finally — his big break as head strength coach at Boston College in 2007. Still, he was mulling a change in profession when…

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