Haverford College’s Department of Athletics announced on March 29 that Cory Walts, Fitness Center Director and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, has resigned from his position to pursue a similar role elsewhere. And on April 2, the University of Pennsylvania’s athletics department released an announcement of their own, confirming student rumors that Walts has been hired to be Director of Strength and Conditioning there.
Walts, who had worked at Haverford for 12 years, oversaw athletics programs which engaged all students as well as the larger Haverford community. Aside from training varsity athletes and overseeing the required Introduction to Fitness class for non-varsity athletes, Walts served as the director of the annual Joe Schwartz ’83 3K Memorial Run/Walk.
“There is not enough space here for me to express my complete gratitude and admiration for Cory Walts. In my three years with Cory, he has exemplified and helped me grow as a stronger competitor, a leader outside of my sport, and a more wholesome person,” wrote Sara Matsumura ‘20, a member of the varsity volleyball team, by direct message. “I am ecstatic the innovation and passion that he has shared with us everyday is being acknowledged beyond Haverford’s campus. Though I am torn to see Cory leave, it is no shock to me that he is getting recognized and given such opportunities to grow for himself and his family. Thank you for being such an influential part of many of our lives, Cory. Because of you, there will always be a ‘HARD WORK ON THREE!’”
According to Director of Athletics Wendy Smith, Walts was the first person at Haverford to hold his position at Haverford. “He was hired at a time when it was unique if not unheard of for a division III program to have such a position so he did not have much peer bench-marking but worked hard not only to grow the position but also to learn how to excel throughout Haverford’s community. He has served an integral role in providing wellness education to the entire community and establishing a culture of intentional training by our student-athletes. We wish Cory the best of luck in this next phase of his career,” wrote Smith by email.
From April 8 to June 30, Sabrina Murphy will become an interim replacement for Walts. Murphy, a graduate of nearby West Chester University, previously worked at Haverford as an assistant strength and conditioning coach as part of a prestigious National Strength and Conditioning Association fellowship. After a national search, Smith hopes to announce a permanent replacement for Walts by the end of May who will then take over starting July 1.