Coaching Spotlight: Donnie Gumble

While head and assistant coaches for specific teams are important, many people often fail to recognize the coaching that takes place behind the scenes. In the early hours before the sunrise and in the late hours after the sunset, you can find Donnie Gumble, strength and conditioning coach, in the weightroom.

For over a year now, Gumble has been working for Mercer Athletics while receiving his master’s degree in Higher Educational Leadership. Before Mercer, Gumble had an internship with a large division one school.

“Mercer was a unique opportunity that I discovered while I was interning at the University of Florida,” said Gumble. “I was looking for a position as a Graduate Assistant, and it just felt like the right place to be. A Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership, along with the potential to work with the various teams here, was too good to pass up.”

Before his internship at the University of Florida, Gumble graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Performance. During his undergrad, Gumble gained a great deal of knowledge.

“Eric Krause, assistant strength and conditioning coach at FGCU, was my mentor throughout my undergraduate courses,” said Gumble. “I gained even more invaluable knowledge from him, which I am incredibly grateful for.”

While at Mercer, Gumble has had the opportunity to work with most of the athletic teams. Now, he specifically works with volleyball, soccer, golf and tennis. Caroline Carlton, a senior on the volleyball team, has seen great improvements since Gumble has worked with her and is appreciative of his hard work and dedication.

“It is nice having a strength coach that cares about your sport and is so specific when it comes to the exercises he chooses in workouts,” said Carlton. “Donnie has traveled with our team a number of times, and we are so appreciative of his overall support.”

Also, while Gumble has been at Mercer, he has improved the University Center athletic weight room in a number of ways.

“We basically opened up the space so that the student athletes would be able to effectively move around the weight room,” said Gumble. We removed all of the nonessential machines, took down privacy panels (that served as an office cubicle) and arranged the room in a way that makes sense for the type of strength and conditioning program we wanted to build.”

Although equipment is an important part of strength and conditioning training, Gumble’s main focus at Mercer has been to make his athletes better in all aspects of their respective sports.

“I want my student-athletes to thrive in all aspects of their lives, but keeping them injury-free and putting them in position to perform their sport at the highest level is my primary goal in the weight room,” said Gumble. “We focus on many different ways to teach and improve mobility, stability, and movement pattern efficiency while increasing strength, power, and endurance.”

After Gumble completes his master’s, he wants to stay within strength and conditioning but has bigger goals later in life.

“I plan to continue to coach collegiate athletes in a similar capacity for a long time,” said Gumble. Eventually, I would like to move into a role as an athletic director when I’m older and tired of coaching.”Photo 1(1)