NEW YORK -- Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Dr. M. Dianne Murphy has announced that Ryan Cidzik will join Columbia's staff as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for Football and Outdoor Sports. Cidzik will also direct the Strength and Conditioning Center at The Campbell Sports Center.
Cidzik brings nearly a decade of NFL and collegiate experience as a strength and conditioning coach to the Columbia football program. His work with the development of collegiate and professional athletes and the prevention of concussions have made him a highly-respected coach.
Cidzik spent the previous two seasons as a strength and conditioning coach for the University of Memphis football team. He served as the assistant football strength and conditioning coach in 2010 and was promoted to head football strength and conditioning coach in 2011. Cidzik was directly responsible for the physical and mental development of the student-athletes.
Under Cidzik’s direction, Memphis’ football players thrived in the weight room. The team’s overall weight room strength increased by 60 percent from January 2010 through July 2011. In 2011, the Tigers’ team body fat decreased by an average of four pounds while muscle mass increased by five pounds. Cidzik also supervised the training of 2011 NFL first-round draft pick Dontari Poe (11th overall to the Kansas City Chiefs), helping the 6-4, 352-pound defensive tackle achieve a 4.87 40-yard dash time, 44 bench press reps, a 500-pound max bench press and a 750-pound max squat.
Before joining the Memphis coaching staff, Cidzik spent two years as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in the NFL. From 2009-10, he worked with the New York Jets and was directly responsible for the physical development of all offensive and defensive linemen, while assisting with skill and mid-skill players. Cidzik helped rank the Jets the fifth least injured team in the NFL, and also helped them to the AFC Championship game during the 2009 season.
Prior to his time with the New York Jets, Cidzik was an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Cleveland Browns from 2008-09. He implemented football-specific strength training, speed development, conditioning, rehab and flexibility programs for all Browns' players. He was also a volunteer assistant with the Browns in 2007. Cidzik was also the league strength and conditioning coordinator for NFL International Player Development for NFL Europe from 2004-07.
Cidzik has a wealth of experience coaching in the college ranks. He served as head strength and conditioning coach at Northwestern State University in Louisiana (2006-08), assistant strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana Tech (2003-06) and volunteer assistant at the University of Richmond (2003).
Cidzik was a four-year letterwinner and two-year starter at fullback for Susquehanna University from 1997 through 2000, helping the Crusaders win conference championships in 1998 and 1999.
After his college football days, Cidzik became an accomplished powerlifter who has achieved Elite-Level status as a drug-free lifter. He has held powerlifting records in five different states, was a two-time national champion at 220 pounds. Cidzik is the American Powerlifting Association's (APA) former world record holder in the squat. His best competitive lifts include a 786 lb. squat, a 500 lb. bench, and a 624 deadlift. Cidzik also competed Muay Thai, International Rules, and Full Contact Rules kickboxer from 1997 to 2002 and again in 2008.
Cidzik is considered by many to be one of the nation's most respected coaches on the topic of concussion prevention for football players. He has spoken at various conferences and published articles on his innovative system of neck testing and training methods for contact sport athletes.
A native of Rome, N.Y., Cidzik earned his bachelor's degree from Susquehanna in 2001 and earned his master's degree of exercise science from Louisiana Tech in 2005. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC), a USA Weightlifting Certified Level-1 Club Coach, and is certified in Orthopedic Assessment (AIAM).
He and his wife, Aimee, welcomed their first child, Steele Thomas in December 2011.