Dr. Lorenzo Guess is a former two-sport collegiate athlete at Michigan State who has received numerous accolades for his skill on the field and court and as a strength and conditioning coach. Now, he’s earned his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in sports management from the United States Sports Academy.
The Academy’s latest Student of the Month, Guess is the associate head strength and conditioning coach and director of player enrichment for the Michigan State University football team. A former MSU safety (1998-2001) and basketball player, Guess is now in his 10th season on the school’s football training staff.
Guess progressed through the Academy doctoral program with his wife, Bianca, who is currently in the dissertation phase of her studies.
“My wife actually got me into the program and it was great being able to work our way through it together,” he said. “The online nature of the program has been helpful. I’m a football coach at a major university, so I’m always busy. But because the Academy is online, I was able to do my school work and write my dissertation on my time at my pace.”
In addition to working with MSU football players in the gym as associate head strength and conditioning coach, he also works with them off the field as director of player enrichment.
“My Academy experience has been fantastic,” he said. “I learned a lot about how to manage a sports program, but I also learned the science behind teaching people how to do that. A big part of my job is not only working with these kids in the gym, building their muscles, but I also work with them off the field, building their minds. The Academy taught me how to help people in both areas.”
In 2020, Guess was named a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC) by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa), the highest honor given in the strength and conditioning coaching profession. Guess is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and is certified by USA Weightlifting as a level one sports performance coach.
Since Guess’ arrival as a full-time staff member, the Spartans have won two Big Ten Championships (2013, 2015) and played in seven bowl games, including three BCS/New Year’s Six bowls (2014 Rose, 2015 Cotton, 2015 CFP Semifinal at Cotton Bowl).
A native of Wayne, Michigan, Guess spent two seasons (2010-11) as an assistant director of strength and conditioning at Notre Dame while working with head coach Brian Kelly. Guess also worked with Kelly for one season at Cincinnati as a tight ends coach, helping the Bearcats to a 12-1 record in 2009 and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl following UC’s second straight BIG EAST Championship. He helped mentor Super Bowl Champion Travis Kelce at UC, who has earned first-team All-Pro accolades three times and Pro Bowl honors six times as a tight end during his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Prior to coaching at Cincinnati, Guess worked on the strength and conditioning staffs at South Florida (2009), Alcorn State (2008), Kentucky State (2007), Cincinnati (2006) and Tiffin (2005). Guess served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at South Florida while working with the men’s basketball team for one season, and was the head strength and conditioning coach at Alcorn State. In 2007, Guess was the secondary coach at Kentucky State and doubled as the football strength and conditioning coach. He held the same positions in 2005 at Tiffin.
Guess earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State in 2002 and graduated from Tiffin University in 2007 with a master’s degree in business administration. He was an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 1998.