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Brandon Peifer Named State Coach of the Year by National High School Strength Coaches Association

Strength coach Brandon Peifer assisting student

Brandon Peifer, Fox Chapel Area School District's interscholastic strength and conditioning head coach and Fox Chapel Area High School teacher, has been named the 2020 State Coach of the Year by the National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA).  

This award is given annually to high school strength and conditioning coaches in recognition of their coaching achievements and passion for the profession. The State Coaches of the Year are among the nation’s top coaches, and a total of 30 from across the United States were chosen to be honored in 2020.

According to Fox Chapel Area School District Athletic Director Michael O’Brien, Peifer was instrumental in developing the strength and conditioning program for students at Dorseyville Middle School and Fox Chapel Area High School.  Peifer is not only “exceptionally committed” to the district’s strength and conditioning program but also has the unique ability to relate to both students and coaches and get them excited about participating, O'Brien said. He has also increased by 100% the number of female athletes participating in the program.

“Traditionally, only football players had used the weight room for training, but now, boys and girls from nearly all 27 sports teams at Fox Chapel Area High School attend pre- and in-season training.  In fact, from 2017, when the formal strength and conditioning program was initiated, there has been a 300% increase in the number of total workouts completed by student-athletes,” O’Brien said.  “Coach Peifer is not only respected and well-liked by our student-athletes; he is also one of the most professional individuals that I have had the pleasure of knowing.”

Peifer, who is quick to deflect praise, said, “I was very surprised when I won the award. I never thought I would win something like this.  It was nice to receive it, but it’s more a result of everybody working together, not just me.  None of this would be possible without the support and help of the administration, Athletic Director Mike O’Brien, Athletic Trainer John Panos, the various sports coaches, the physical education department, and especially assistant coaches John Alerich, Zach Metkler, and James Chandler, as well as the help of Dr. Lesley Cowles.”

Peifer has been a teacher in the Fox Chapel Area School District since 2004. He currently teaches social studies at FCAHS.

He will be presented with the State Coach of the Year award at the 2020 NHSSCA Conference in June in Minneapolis.  

The purpose of the NHSSCA is to educate, equip, and empower coaches to make a positive impact in the lives of student athletes, and to develop coaches that are trustworthy, knowledgeable, effective, passionate, and transformational.