He didn’t know how to skate and he couldn’t clear a puck, but the New York Rangers wanted him on the team. As a performance analyst for the New York Rangers and their American Hockey League affiliate organization, the Hartford Wolfpack, Adam Virgile '13 monitors players' stresses, performance and injury risk. It may be an exercise science major’s dream job but, for Virgile, it’s a labor of love.
“Waking up excited to go to work each day is an invaluable luxury,” he said. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be around a remarkable group of staff and players. We’re a tight-knit group. It doesn’t get much better than being able to spend time with my friends day in and day out.”
Following graduation from the University of Vermont in 2013 with a B.S. in Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition and Food Sciences, Adam sat for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam. That summer, the New York Rangers hired him as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. His primary roles were to implement strength and conditioning programs with the players and manage physiological data collection. The team was impressed with Virgile’s knowledge of human physiology and nutrition.
Virgile credits his UVM education and clinical practice as a student at CNHS.
“It was an honor to be educated by brilliant professors. I was provided with opportunities that gave me practical experience in the field. I was fortunate enough to be able to work in the UVM Varsity Weight Room and learn from the best strength coaches,” Virgile recalled. “I helped conduct fitness testing on the UVM Men’s Ice Hockey team. It was amazing to see what these athletes were capable of, and to gain experience in a performance lab setting.”
Virgile frequently speaks to CNHS students taking classes from his former professor, CNHS Associate Dean Jeremy Sibold.
“Adam Virgile is an outstanding personal and professional role model as a recent graduate of the program,” Sibold said. “He has the rare combination of extraordinary intelligence, drive and true authenticity. He goes the extra mile consistently for us, making himself available as a resource to our students and program alike. We are all so very proud of him and lucky to stay connected with him as his career continues to impress.”
Virgile admits that his career path is not typical and he advises students to focus on intrinsic rewards.
“Immediately after graduation, I was hired by a professional hockey team, but most will not be so fortunate. Strength and conditioning is a labor of love. I recommend that students follow their passion, regardless of perceived workload or compensation,” he said. “I tell them to develop a genuine passion for being a nice person and helping others. I got where I am today by helping people I care about, without expectation of receiving anything in return. In the end, these people returned the favor.”
Along with keeping up with current research on sports nutrition, exercise physiology, nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics, Virgile enjoys watching and playing basketball, American football and lacrosse. With countless hours of practice, he finally taught himself how to skate and now he plays in pick-up hockey games.