Coach Giovanetti Named Coach of the Year for NHSSCA

Coach Giovanetti Named Coach of the Year for NHSSCA

Frannie Wied, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Coach A.J. Giovanetti was recently named NHSSCA’s Coach of the Year for Wisconsin and this Notre Dame Academy icon and alum has dedicated years to establishing and building our strength and conditioning program. 

Giovanetti graduated from NDA in 2004 and was involved in numerous activities. He played football and was a thrower for the track team. 

“During my four years at NDA, I learned so much from my coaches. They not only prepared me well to play football at the next level but reinforced many soft skills that it takes to be successful. They taught me more about life than football,” said Giovanetti. 

Giovanetti went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2008. He later returned to Concordia and graduated with a master’s degree in teaching and learning. 

While in college, Giovanetti still spent his summers at NDA, where he would train for the upcoming football season. He said that he always knew he wanted to come back to NDA and become a strength and conditioning coach.

“I never really left NDA. After I graduated high school, I still spent my summers at NDA training and getting ready for football each fall.  I always knew that I wanted to be a strength and conditioning coach, so while I was home for the summers, I’d help out Coach Nowak with the summer strength and speed program,” said Giovanetti. 

Giovanetti saw what other strength and conditioning programs were doing and wanted to bring this to Wisconsin and integrate it into NDA’s curriculum. He proposed this notion along with the idea of adding a Strength and Conditioning Coach’s position, and the proposal was accepted. This was seven years ago, and the program has been thriving ever since. 

“Nationally, there are a lot of great coaches that I wanted to connect with and network with,” said Giovanetti. 

So what is NHSSCA and what does this remarkable title “Coach of the Year” mean? 

NHSSCA (National High School Strength Coaches Association) is an organization that allows high school strength and conditioning coaches to grow professionally. This title is an honor that is given annually to a High School Strength and Conditioning Coach in recognition of their passion for the profession, dedication and coaching accomplishments. 

This honor means a lot to me. To be nominated by my peers who coach at other high schools with very successful athletic programs in the state is a great honor,” said Giovanetti. 

Giovanetti originally got involved with NHSSCA after they asked him to be the state director. He has now served two terms as the Wisconsin state director and is currently on the state advisory board. And as if this work wasn’t enough, he has also presented at numerous NHSSCA conferences. 

Giovanetti was very humbled and says that this award isn’t about him. He said that this title is all about the students he gets to coach and their dedication. 

“When I think about this award, I think about all of the student-athletes, past and present, who bought into the system and put in countless hours, behind the scenes, where there are no crowds watching them, cheering them on. This award is really all about them,” said Giovanetti. 

NDA has always been a special place for me. To have the opportunity to still be a part of the NDA family is priceless,” added the award-winning coach.