Coach Dave Forman: a new face in the weight room


Lilah Kimble

Coach Dave Forman smiles as he works with women’s volleyball during their team lift on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Catherine McCurdy, Staff Writer

Members of the Washington and Lee University men’s baseball team circled around Coach Dave Forman as he explained a proper bench press to them. They were engaged as he described the form details and purpose to the young men before they began to do it on their own. 

Forman joined the Washington and Lee athletics faculty as the new head coach of strength and conditioning and assistant professor of physical education on July 1.

Athletics Director Jan Hathorn said his extensive experience set him apart from the other applicants during the hiring search.

“We not only noticed him, but felt we needed to meet this person,” she said. “He is very knowledgeable about what it is he does.”

Forman has many goals directed at training student-athletes and making the varsity weight room more effective.

Forman spent the past six years as the director of strength and conditioning at the Virginia Military Institute right next door. He also worked with their football team on physical development. 

He was named the master strength and conditioning coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association while at VMI.

Forman received his degree in kinesiology from James Madison University and a master’s degree in exercise science at the University of Mississippi. He has worked for several other colleges and even interned with the Detroit Tigers.

However, his passion stems all the way back to high school where he began weight training on his own, and he took a Sports Physiology class. This led him on his path to coaching and now at W&L

He said he wants student-athletes here to be able to walk out of the weight room and feel like they can train themselves like he did. 

“I want to provide good customer service,” he said. “Which means to me providing good technical expertise, safety, making sure people have the skills and knowledge to grow and not get injured in the weight room.” 

He emphasized buying into the process of training. He said results take time, but when individuals buy in, they can hold themselves accountable and see their results. 

Forman is also striving to make better use of the varsity weight room. He has ideas to transform it for more efficiency.

“I want to build out multiple things happening at once,” he said. “Like when someone is doing a squat or a pull-up, what can we have someone doing in the floor area?”

He recently purchased adjustable dumbbells, more total body resistance exercise straps, specialty barbells and portable pulley systems for a lateral pull-down or a cable machine.

“The question I ask: Can we get the most bang for our buck with this piece of equipment?” Forman said. 

Forman said he has had a positive experience while starting his new position at Washington and Lee, and Hathorn can see that too. 

“He’s excited to be working with student athletes, that’s his favorite part of the job. He’s always positive and has a smile on his face,” she said. “I think he’s a great hire and a great guy.”

Forman appreciates the university’s sense of community. Even going to The Marketplace every day brings him joy.

“I hope to be here for a very long time and build something great,” he said.