Dennis returns to work with students

Former lacrosse player Troy Dennis is enjoying his return to Detroit Mercy, where he is a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach.

The job comes with a lot of responsibilities.

“I help assist the strength and conditioning staff with planning and coaching the workouts and conditionings with all of the athletic teams at Detroit Mercy,” said Dennis. “I also assist with maintaining the overall cleanliness of the weight room, and make sure the athletes have water and snacks available.”

As a graduate assistant, he must manage his time well, balancing his job, his studies and his classes.

Another challenge is getting to know every single athlete (because there are so many). But he expects to know everyone by heart soon.

Nick Wilson, director of strength and conditioning, hired Dennis.

He said he trusts Dennis and knew he would work hard for him.

“Troy and I had kept in contact all of these years and he had expressed interest in wanting to be a strength and conditioning coach,” said Wilson. “I thought for Troy that it would be a perfect opportunity to come and learn what I’ve done and what I can teach him. Bottom line is that I knew that he would work hard and I knew that he would support and back me 100 percent.”

Wilson said he loves that Dennis brings in his experiences as a student-athlete.

According to Wilson, Dennis can tell students, “Hey, I was here. I’ve done it. I’ve seen it.”

As an undergrad, Dennis had many accomplishments at Detroit Mercy:

  • he played in all 14 games as a defensive midfielder his senior year;
  • made the athletic director’s honor roll;
  • won the Rev. Norbert Heutter Award for his dedication, attitude and leadership;
  • and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.

“Troy is a real success story,” said Chris Kolon, head lacrosse coach. “He was not the strongest high school student, yet he was well above a 3.5 a lot of semesters here at Detroit Mercy. I think that the way we do things here – mentoring and helping kids grow – he took that to heart.”

Kolon said he appreciates Dennis’s hard work and motivation.

“When he gets set on doing something, he’s 100 percent into it, no matter what it is,” Kolon said.

Dennis plans on being here until August.

“I look to gain knowledge from all of the strength and conditioning staff and to build great connections with every student athlete here, giving them my own advice on how to be successful in the classroom, in athletics and in life,” said Dennis.