NSU names Smelser director of strength and conditioning

Nationally recognized in his field, Jason Smelser has been named Northwestern State’s director of strength and conditioning, Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian announced Tuesday.

Smelser comes to NSU from ULM where he spent the past year working primarily with the Warhawk baseball program as its head strength coach.

While at ULM, Smelser also assisted the head strength coach with ULM’s football strength and conditioning program.

“We are ecstatic to announce the addition of Jason Smelser as our director of strength of conditioning,” Bostian said. “He has won national acclaim for his work in the strength and conditioning field. Developing our student-athletes for the rigors of a college season is very important, and he will lead this area of the department with unmatched passion. Coach Smelser is a tremendous teacher, motivator and leader. We look forward to watching the impact he will have on our student-athletes’ lives.”

Prior to returning home to Louisiana, Smelser was the director of sports performance at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. At William Jewell, Smelser oversaw and directed a staff that was responsible for implementing and designing strength and conditioning programs for 22 sports.

He also held a position on the athletic director’s cabinet and designed and implemented mental health programs for William Jewell student-athletes.

His tenure at William Jewell came after spending the spring 2021 semester at Lane College as its director of sports performance. While working with 12 sports Smelser also made improvements to Lane’s weight room while implementing mental health programs for Lane’s student-athletes.

Smelser, a Monroe native, spent seven years at Central Oklahoma as an assistant football coach and the head strength and conditioning coordinator for football and women’s track and field.

While at Henderson State from 2011-14 as the head strength and conditioning coordinator, Smelser drew national acclaim as American Football Monthly Magazine’s 2012 Division II Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year.

That recognition came for his work with the Reddies’ football program, but Smelser also worked with men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s volleyball and men’s basketball at Henderson State.

A former head football coach and defensive coordinator at Iowa Wesleyan from 2005-10, Smelser was the defensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coordinator at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the 2010 season.

An all-state linebacker at Ouachita Christian near Monroe, Smelser is a two-time graduate of Southern Arkansas University, earning his undergraduate degree in kinesiology in 2000 and his master’s in the same field in 2001.