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St. Mary's names John Opfer sports performance director

John Opfer

St. Mary's of Lancaster announced Monday that John Opfer has been named the high school's sports performance director.

As the owner and director of performance training at Performance Sports Training operated at the Northtown Center, Opfer works with athletes of all ages and talent levels. He will bring those skills and "work with student athletes to improve their on-field performance and promote techniques to prevent injury."

Opfer will be instrumental in designing the Lancer Sports Performance Lab, a new state-of-the-art facility that is currently under renovation in the St. Mary's Athletic Center.

"I am very excited to join a school community and athletic department that has a true commitment to these kids and the craft of athletics, the techniques and the science behind it," said Opfer, who is noted in the release as being the first real professional in dedicated sports performance training in the area.

He's also one of only 40 coaches to hold a master's in Level 5 biomechanics with application in sprints with USA Track & Field and the IFF Olympic governing body, which is the highest accreditation for a speed coach.

Opfer brings with him a wealth of high-profile experience having worked for the University at Buffalo, where he was the youngest head strength coach in NCAA history, as well as the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Indians and University of Tennessee.

"We are thrilled to have someone of the caliber, professionalism, and overall knowledge of the human body that John brings to the table," St. Mary's head of school Kevin Kelleher said. "We can’t wait to watch him help our student athletes become stronger and more explosive, especially in combination with the state-of-the-art sports performance lab currently under construction."

This is the second big addition in the last six months for St. Mary's, which made Darren Fenn its director of basketball operations and facilities coordinator in May. Fenn is a former Canisius High and Canisius College basketball star who played professionally overseas for 14 years before returning to promote the growth of the sport in the area with his training academy. He coached the Nichols boys varsity team last season.

One of Opfer's three children, Mia, is a freshman at St. Mary’s.

Fenn steps down at Nichols, moves into new role at St. Mary's

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The press release in its entirety is below:

Owner of Proformance Sports Training, Opfer, Joins St. Mary’s Athletic Department

Lancaster, NY –  John Opfer has been named Sports Performance Director at St. Mary’s High School.  Opfer will work with student athletes to improve their on-field performance and promote techniques to prevent injury.  In conjunction with Opfer coming on board at the school, he will also be instrumental in designing the Lancer Sports Performance Lab, a brand new, state-of-the-art facility, currently under renovation in the St. Mary’s Athletic Center.

Opfer is the owner and Director of Performance Training at Proformance Sports Training, which operates out of the Northtown Center in Amherst.  Here, he works with male and female athletes of all ages, talent levels, and who play sports that range from track to football.  Opfer will bring the same skill set he uses to train these athletes to St. Mary’s and is thrilled to play a big role in the development of the student athletes at one of the best schools, both athletically and academically, in the state: “I am very excited to join a school community and athletic department that has a true commitment to these kids and the craft of athletics- the techniques and the science behind it,” Opfer said.

Opfer brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge of what techniques and drills make athletes their best, being the first real professional in dedicated sports performance training in the area.  He is certified by the CSCS- National Strength & Conditioning Association, USA Track & Field levels 1,2, and 3, and by the Weightlifting Federation.  He is also one of only forty coaches to hold a Masters in Level 5 Biomechanics with application in sprints with USA Track & Field and the IFF Olympic governing body, which is the highest accreditation for a speed coach.

Opfer has worked for the University at Buffalo, where he was the youngest Head Strength Coach in NCAA history.  He has also worked for the Cleveland Indians, Buffalo Bills, and the University of Tennessee.  With a resume like this one, it is no surprise that St. Mary’s is eager to have Opfer become part of the St. Mary’s team: “We are thrilled to have someone of the caliber, professionalism, and overall knowledge of the human body that John brings to the table,” said Kevin Kelleher, Head of School.  “Athletics aside, John is one of the better people that I know.  He’s a faith-filled man, who will fit in nicely with our current staff and our wonderful student athletes and families,” Keller continued.  “We can’t wait to watch him help our student athletes become stronger and more explosive, especially in combination with the state-of-the-art sports performance lab currently under construction.  Our athletics department is already functioning at such a high level under our Athletic Director Brittany Heist, so I am really looking forward to John and Brittany joining forces to mentor our student athletes.”

Opfer currently resides in Willamsville with his wife, Nicole and their three children, one of whom, Mia, is a freshman at St. Mary’s.

Founded in 1904, St. Mary’s High School has been preparing its students to achieve success for 113 years.  St. Mary’s High School is the leading Catholic, co-ed college preparatory school in Western New York—a beacon of faith, excellence, achievement, and inspiration.

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