A key football member is missing from the Warriors’ offseason conditioning program.
Stephen Pizza didn’t throw a football or make a tackle during games. But as a graduate assistant strength/conditioning coach, he helped players with weight and fitness training, monitored the “Pit” for those rehabilitating from injuries and, without fanfare, did jobs that needed to be done. During beach workouts, he set up training areas, worked at different stations (including standing in knee-high water) and, after the players left, helped pack the supplies and pick up trash.
As a GA, Pizza earned a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend of about $1,000. The stipend was available only during the fall and spring semesters. He essentially was a “volunteer” during the summer.
Pizza’s two-year GA tenure ended when he earned a master’s degree in December. He moved back to the mainland and now works at a high school and a private training facility.
S/C coordinator Gary Beemer considers Pizza as one of his best friends.
“Everybody likes Stephen Pizza,” Beemer said. “He’s a special cat.”