New challenge for coach

By Kevin Eckleberry

June 28, 2014

It’s going to be a different feeling this fall.

Jeff Geeter will still be busy.

As the LaGrange College strength and conditioning coordinator, he will have his hands full.

Geeter won’t be coaching soccer, though, and that will be a drastic change for a man who has devoted much of his life to the sport.

Geeter was named the LaGrange College men’s soccer coach in 1990, and he has been coaching the sport at the school every year since then.

At times he has coached the men’s and women’s teams at the same time, and he has been the only men’s coach for 25 years.

That will end this fall, with Geeter focusing all of his attention on his new position.

For the first time in a quarter of a century, Geeter won’t be leading a LaGrange College soccer team on to the field when a new season gets under way.

“It’s going to be weird in the fall,” Geeter said. “I was telling my wife, it’ll be the first time in 40 years that I’m not getting ready to play or coach going into August.”

Geeter is excited about his new position, though.

He will be responsible for the entire athletic program’s strength and conditioning program.

“I’ve been doing it with my team, and helping with other teams here and there when they needed it,” Geeter said. “They decided they really wanted to get it all under one tent.”

Geeter is one of three certified strength coaches on the LaGrange College coaching staff.

The other two are football coach Dave Shonts, and basketball coach Jasen Jonus.

“Dave pretty much works with the football team, and he and I will get together. And Jones works with basketball, and I pretty much work with everybody else,” Geeter said. “It’s nice to have that many people that have the background, and the credentials and everything.”

Geeter said the idea is to “try to standardize to an extent what we do as far as the exercises. Of course programs are different for different sports.”

Geeter said strength training is critical for every sport, from football, to soccer, to volleyball and beyond.

“You have to have it if you’re going to be successful in anything,” Geeter said.

Geeter said he has already been busy working with some of the coaches to set up conditioning programs.

“I worked a lot with volleyball in the spring, with swimming,” Geeter said. “I prepared the summer workout for soccer, and for softball. I’m really looking forward to being with as many teams as I’ll be with.”

Geeter will obviously keep a close eye on what the soccer teams do this fall, and he said he is “excited about both teams.”

Geeter has been replaced by Matthew Evans, and the women’s team also has a new coach in Fred Wagenaar.

“They’re going to do a good job,” Geeter said. “Hopefully I can help them out with strength and conditioning.”