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Paul Chandler
Paul Chandler

Baseball and Softball Strength & Conditioning Coordinator – Seventh Season at Florida

Paul Chandler is in his seventh season as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the baseball program and in his fifth season working with the Gator softball program at the University of Florida. His responsibilities include designing and implementing year-round strength, speed and conditioning workouts for the Gators in the Griffin/Oakley Strength and Conditioning Center. Chandler guides each student-athlete through an individual training program designed to enhance strength, as well as explosive power, speed, agility, endurance, coordination, balance, flexibility and mental toughness.

In addition to working with UF’s baseball program, which has made NCAA College World Series appearances in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 under his direction and claimed Southeastern Conference titles in 2010, 2011 and 2014, Chandler picked up strength and conditioning duties working with UF’s softball squad prior to the 2011 season. His work has been instrumental as the Gators have captured back-to-back national championships at the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City in 2014 and 2015. In fact, UF softball has made the WCWS in three straight campaigns on his watch and also captured SEC Championships in 2013 and 2015. The 2015 softball recipient of the Honda Sports Award, Lauren Haeger became the third individual to win the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year, the WCWS Most Outstanding Player and the Honda Award in the same season.

Chandler’s efforts have helped the Gators total 48 Major League Draft picks during his tenure, including a school-record 11 selections in 2011 and a total of four first-round picks: catcher Mike Zunino, third overall to the Seattle Mariners in 2012, left-hander Brian Johnson, 31st overall to the Boston Red Sox in 2012, right-hander Jonathon Crawford, 20th overall to the Detroit Tigers in 2013, and shortstop Richie Martin, 20th overall to the Oakland A’s in 2015.

Zunino was Florida’s first Dick Howser Trophy recipient, USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award winner and Johnny Bench Award winner in 2012 after being named the 2011 SEC Player of the Year, while Johnson was the Gators’ first-ever John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year recipient. Five players garnered a total of 12 All-American honors in ‘12: Johnson, right-hander Austin Maddox, left-hander Steven Rodriguez, outfielder Preston Tucker and Zunino, while second baseman Casey Turgeon was a Freshman All-American from Baseball America and Perfect Game. Rodriguez was the first player from the 2012 MLB Draft to reach the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Mariners’ starting catcher Zunino became the first position player from that Draft to be called up to the Majors.

The SEC Champion Gators had a pair of All-Americans and two Freshman All-Americans in 2014. Taylor Gushue, the first-team All-SEC catcher, was a second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger and a fourth-round selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Right-hander Logan Shore, the National Freshman of the Year by Perfect Game and the first Gator pitcher to be named the SEC Freshman of the Year, earned third-team A-A honors from Louisville Slugger and was a unanimous Freshman All-American. A member of the SEC All-Freshman Team, designated hitter/first baseman Peter Alonso picked up Freshman All-America recognition from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

Last season, Chandler’s work resulted in a three All-Americans and three Freshman All-Americans from the SEC Tournament Champion and third-ranked Gators, who were one victory shy of the CWS Championship Finals. Catcher/designated hitter JJ Schwarz was tabbed as the National Freshman Hitter of the Year by the NCBWA and was Louisville Slugger’s Co-Freshman of the Year on his way to consensus All-American and Freshman All-American acclaim. Left fielder Harrison Bader, a third-round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals, and third baseman Josh Tobias, a 10th-round choice of the Philadelphia Phillies, were also All-Americans for the first time before turning pro. Second baseman Dalton Guthrie and catcher/designated hitter Mike Rivera each achieved Freshman All-America status and the trio of Guthrie, Rivera and Schwarz was members of the SEC’s All-Freshman team.

Chandler previously assisted in the design, organization and execution of strength and conditioning program for the Gator football team. He was part of the staff for the 2006 squad that brought home the school’s second national championship and seventh SEC title and has worked with a total of 11 Gators who were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Over the course of his career at Florida and West Virginia University, Chandler has overseen the development of 57NFL Draft picks, 51 MLB Draft selections and 10 Major Leaguers.

He is officially certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Chandler is a member of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa) and has passed the Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) certification examination.

The SCCC is the most comprehensive certification of its kind and tests the candidates' scientific knowledge, as well as their ability to apply this knowledge in a live working, practical environment. Those candidates preparing to take this certification examination must undergo an eight-to-nine month internship under the supervision of a CSCCa approved mentor. This mentor's responsibility is to guide the candidate and help him develop the skills necessary to become a successful strength and conditioning coach. In addition, Chandler has completed American Red Cross CPR training and earned his Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certification.

At Florida, Chandler manages and organizes student-athletes’ data, organizes and administers weight room scheduling, purchasing and maintenance and assists in the planning of the strength and conditioning all-sports clinics and camps. He also helps with the mentoring of the strength and conditioning interns.

Prior to his return to Gainesville in January 2010, Chandler was a strength and conditioning coordinator at West Virginia for two years, working primarily with the Mountaineer football and baseball teams. Chandler went to Morgantown after a three-year stint at Florida as a strength and conditioning assistant coach for two years and as an intern for one. In that capacity, he worked with Gator football, throwers for the women’s track team and oversaw the strength and conditioning program for members of UF’s men’s and women’s swimming programs.

In addition, he served as a graduate assistant football and strength coach at Harding University between January and July 2005. During this time frame, Chandler assisted with the development of the Bison defensive line and led strength and conditioning workouts and pool workouts.

A 2003 graduate of Harding with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, he earned a master's degree in education with emphasis on kinesiology from Harding in 2005.Chandler and his wife, Veronica, live in the Gainesville area with their son, Jack, and daughter, Vivian.

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