Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists
Meet Our Staff
Our staff here at AdventHealth Center Ice are all Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists with a background in kinesiology and exercise physiology. They have the knowledge and ability to customize programs catered to your needs and can put you in the best possible position to succeed.
Connor comes to AdventHealth Center Ice after 10 years in the strength and conditioning industry. He is a Tampa native having attended Wharton High School before going off to play both junior and NCAA hockey. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida where he earned his B.S. in Athletic Training from the College of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and a Performance Enhancement Specialist through NASM. He has worked with many first round picks, all-stars, national and world champions as well as hundreds of professional athletes from the ATP, NFL, MLB, NHL and NWHL.
Connor got his start in the performance industry as an intern with the Athlete’s Compound located at Saddlebrook in Wesley Chapel back in 2008. After completing his internship he became a strength coach assistant at the University of South Florida working primarily with football during a time span where the Bulls won two bowl games (International, and Meineke Car Care Bowls). After leaving USF Connor went on to become the Director of NFL Combine Prep at Athletic Edge and helped place 22 college football players on active NFL rosters and coached two athletes to NFL Combine records in the L-Drill and vertical jump in 2012. During his tenure at Athletic Edge he was asked to come back to The Athletes Compound as the Associate Director of Performance and Director of Strength for Saddlebrook Tennis Academy. Connor spent three years at the Athletes Compound dealing primarily with MLB prospects, ATP professionals and youth development in the Saddlebrook Tennis Academy. Connor then spent a brief period at The Performance Compound (now ASPI) as the Director of Combine Prep helping send over 20 football players to NFL teams. During his time at AHCI he was hired to work with the USWNT during their Olympic preparation prior to the 2018 Olympics. Following a successful Gold Medal run he was retained to work with USA hockey for a span that saw two Four Nations Cup gold medals, one IIHF World Championship gold medal and an Olympic gold medal.
Connor is a firm believer in strength, positioning and patterning over all other aspects of training. He believes putting athletes in good positions and teaching them to both produce and accept force will create the best carryover to any and every sport while also helping decrease the likelihood of injuries.
Michael Merren became a certified personal trainer in March of 2008. He has a passion for working with children and teenage athletes; Merren served as the head personal trainer for the Boys Fit for Life program while earning his first Bachelor of Science in Health Science Studies from Quinnipiac University, also earning a degree in Clinical Massage Therapy from The Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy. Merren also earned a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Kean University in August 2013. Merren completed an internship at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida, where he worked as an Athletic Trainer assisting athletes of all ages and skill level. While working at ESPN, Michael also worked as a Massage Therapist for the United Kingdom’s National Track and Field Team. In 2014 Merren became the Assistant Athletic Trainer for the ASA College Football Team in Brooklyn, New York. Merren then relocated to Florida to work with Orlando City Soccer as their pre-season Assistant Athletic Trainer and Massage therapist. Merren is currently employed as an athletic trainer by AdventHealth Wesley Chapel and is assigned to AdventHealth Center Ice.
Michael is not only a certified athletic trainer but a certified massage therapist, a nationally registered EMT, a certified personal trainer and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.