Strength and conditioning coach gets warm welcome from Aggies

Nothing is more motivating than working with someone who loves their job. The same is true for athletes. The love for sports can be contagious, especially when it comes from a coach.

The newest addition to the athletic staff at North Carolina A&T is a young woman who loves her job.

Christine Alongi, also referred to as Coach A, is the new strength and conditioning coach for intercollegiate athletes at N.C. A&T.

“I love Coach A,” said Amelia Langi, co-captain of the volleyball team. “She’s always ready to work, and even after working a 14-hour shift, she still manages to be energetic with a smile on her face.”

Being involved in athletics is nothing new to Alongi as she participated in basketball, soccer and cross-country while in high school. During her sophomore year at the University of Arkansas, where she studied nutrition, Alongi began to participate in competitive power lifting at the college level. After breaking national records in women’s power lifting, Alongi’s career goals shifted from nutrition to fitness.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Alongi continued her education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, pursuing a master’s degree in exercise science. Alongi continued to work as the strength coach at Monroe for two years after graduating.

She officially became an Aggie in June of 2002 and has been working with varsity athletes ever since. Alongi assists most varsity teams on campus including football, volleyball, bowling and many more.

“The way she introduced herself made us realize that she was serious about her job,” said Curtis Deloatch, a punt return specialist for the Aggie football team. “What you put in is what you get out.”

If an athlete chooses not to work hard or to break the rules, Alongi has the perfect solution. On Monday mornings, a mixture of varsity athletes join for the “breakfast club.” Each week a different group of athletes meet at 5:30 a.m. for a sprint up the football stadium stairs. Each varsity athlete must abide by Alongi’s rules.

“If you break the rules, I hold you accountable,” said Alongi, speaking about the breakfast club. “The consequences are the same for every athlete. It’s that simple.”

The staff at A&T has welcomed Alongi and treated her as a part of their extensive family. In fact, many believe that Alongi’s presence has brought about a new dimension to the Aggie athletic department along with helping to increase the expectations of the Aggie athletes.

“Coach Alongi has added a new flavor to the athletic department at A&T,” said head volleyball coach Kathy Roulhac.

Women’s swim coach Shawn Hendrix has also had the priviledge of working with Alongi.

“She has introduced a highly structured program for each individual sport and also increased the expectations of our athletes, mentally and physically,” said Hendrix.

Alongi spends the majority of her days in the weight room and on the football field at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

“Athletes at A&T are hungry to succeed. I am here to assist them to be the best at what they love to do,” said Alongi. “Hopefully we will reach the ultimate goal and build championship teams.”

For information about Aggie athletics, log on to www.ncat.edu/~athletic/.

  • Crystal Daily