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“Community and cohesion” in the Strength, Agility & Fitness Centre

Learn more about new strength and conditioning coach Jordan Guilford and his work in the SAS at the Upper School.
As an undergraduate exercise science student at Sheridan College, Guilford worked as an intern at UCC under former strength and conditioning coach Matt Verboom.

“A lot of my formative years as a strength and conditioning coach happened here,” says Guilford. “I learned how to work with multiple sports, handle large groups of athletes and comport myself as a strength and conditioning professional. It was always in the back of my mind that I’d like to come back here someday, so when the possibility opened up, I was excited.”

Guilford grew up in Toronto playing basketball, but, during high school, he realized he wasn’t NBA-bound. He explored ways to stay involved with basketball and sports and discovered that an exercise science degree would give him flexibility and offer many job opportunities. He went on to earn his master’s degree and certification as a strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Prior to joining UCC, Guilford served as director of programming for the YMCA of Greater Toronto. He has also worked as a strength and conditioning coach for clients that include the Canadian Ice Academy, Ontario Basketball, Brandon University and the Canadian Armed Forces.
“I’ve worked at every level of exercise in sport,” he says. “It keeps you young.”

Guilford makes sure “to move my own body every day. Taking care of fitness helps you manage other parts of your life and gives you the energy to do what you want.” For a number of years, he participated in competitive power lifting and Strongman competitions rather than traditional sports. Recently, he has begun playing basketball again and has taken up dance, both hip-hop and contemporary. 

At UCC, Guilford is working with various teams, such as rowing, and supporting physical education classes, as well as students who want to exercise during their spare periods. He runs a strength club and keeps the SAS open after school so students can take advantage of the facilities. However, he sees his position as going beyond a focus on performance.

“I want to create a sense of community and cohesion,” Guilford says. “For students who don’t do organized sports, I want to help them build confidence in their bodies and get fitter so they take pleasure in fitness. I want people to find the SAS a welcoming area.”

Director of Athletics Brent MacKay is impressed with what he’s seen so far.

“Jordan Guilford joined the College this past November,” MacKay says. “In that short time, he’s done a terrific job making the SAS a welcoming environment for all of our students. Whether training individuals, groups or teams, Jordan's passion for his role is clearly evident in everything that he does.”
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