Tayler Cullen helping Jimmies athletes reach full potential

Cullen is primarily responsible for overseeing 95 student athletes.

Tayler Cullen
Jimmies GA Tayler Cullen poses in front of the banners that adorn the wall inside the Scott D. Peterson Weight Room on Thursday, April 6.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — During his undergraduate years as an outfielder for the University of Jamestown, Tayler Cullen was an exercise science major. He has continued that passion into being a graduate assistant in the strength, conditioning and campus wellness department.

“I just always enjoyed my time in the weight room as an athlete and as I moved forward in my collegiate career I just started to enjoy it more and more,” Cullen said. “The reason I was an exercise science major during my undergrad was because the thing that I found that fascinated me the most was the human body and how it operated and I just always wanted to learn more and more about how the human body operates and how it can coincide with sports.”

During his time as a graduate assistant, Cullen said he has learned a lot from his colleagues including director Ryder Weischedel and assistant Emily Sosa. Cullen said getting his master's in sports leadership from the same place he graduated from and played at has helped him deal with the athletes.

“I think being a collegiate athlete before being a strength and conditioning coach gave me the upper hand on being able to relate to the current athletes because I’ve been in their shoes,” Cullen said. “Also, staying at the University of Jamestown to do my graduate assistant gave me the upper hand because I already knew the staff that I was going to be working for and I already knew the coaching staff of the teams that I was going to be working with.”

Cullen played three seasons as a Jimmie baseball player, finishing with a career average of .348, 20 home runs and 108 RBIs. He said his studies as an exercise science major helped him understand his body better.


“I would say my understanding of the human body through exercise science helped me prioritize things I didn’t know I needed as much such as hydration and sleep and consistency,” Cullen said. “Those basic things that you don’t really take into consideration when you’re a student-athlete.”

Cullen currently works with men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s wrestling and the shooting sports team. He also helps out with the other sports when he is needed.

When he was first starting in the job, Cullen was dreaming of a job as a strength coach for a professional baseball team or an NCAA Division I team but through the job that dream has changed.

“I am starting to find myself more intrigued with vertical jump sports such as volleyball and basketball and sports of that nature,” Cullen said. “But I think my perspective has broadened a lot in the last six to eight months.”

Despite the fact that Cullen has multiple former teammates that have gone on to be assistants on head coach Tom Hager’s staff, he said he did not want to go that route.

“I majored in exercise science and really wanted to be able to apply myself to a broader range of athletes,” Cullen said. “I want to learn as much as I can about athletic performance and strength and conditioning as a whole and be able to produce safe and effective training for any athlete that I work with.”

Cullen said the relationship that he has with his former teammates has changed in that it is more professional than it was previously. Cullen said his current job has forced him to dig more into what the teams need to be successful than he did when he was playing.

“I think outside of the weight room everyone’s needs is a little individualized; for hitters, they have specific things they need to work on, for pitchers they have specific things they need to work on,” Cullen said. “But as far as in the weight room, that’s our job as coaches, we’re always trying to evolve, we’re always trying to put together the best training methods and training plan for the given team and what their needs are.”


Cullen said he loves the selfless aspect of his job and helping everybody else succeed.

“I absolutely love doing what I do now,” Cullen said. “I think that I genuinely enjoy it more than I did being an athlete. I find a lot of happiness and joy seeing others succeed whereas when I was an athlete I was a little bit more absorbed with what I had to do to be successful to help our team win. Whereas now I just do everything in my power to put the best foot forward for the athletes that I’m lucky enough to work with and watch them succeed. It’s a very great feeling to get to see other people have success.”

My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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