Head Coach, Director of Strength and Conditioning
Tommy Sheehan is in his 13th year as a full-time athletics department staff member, his 11th as Director of Strength and Conditioning. In that position, he supervises a two-person staff in all aspects of strength and conditioning for Columbia’s 31 intercollegiate teams.
Well-known throughout the strength and conditioning profession, he was asked to produce an instructional DVD during the past year for the Cleveland Indians, on movement training in an off-season conditioning program. It was shot at the Indians’ Jacobs Field and distributed to the players in the Cleveland system.
Sheehan first came to Columbia in the fall of 1990 as a graduate assistant on the football staff, reuniting him with Columbia’s head coach at the time, Ray Tellier. Tellier had originally recruited the Buffalo, N.Y., native when he was head coach at the University of Rochester. Sheehan spent three years on the Columbia staff, and earned a master’s in applied physiology.
He then joined the New York State Police as a physical training instructor before attending the State Police academy and becoming a New York State trooper. He left the police force two years later and returned to Columbia as assistant strength and conditioning coach. He was named Director of Strength and Conditioning in 2001.
Sheehan is one of the finest offensive players in the University of Rochester’s gridiron history. An All-American as a junior and senior, he twice earned All-ECAC and all-conference honors. He ranks among the Yellowjackets’ all-time leaders in every receiving category, and topped the list at the completion of his playing career in receiving yardage for a game (189), season (835), and career (1,982). In 2005, he was inducted into Rochester’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Sheehan and his wife, Dr. Tricia Lipani, live on Morningside Heights. Dr. Lipani, a former track and field athlete at Columbia, is a psychologist in the hematology department at Columbia University Medical Center. She holds a master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt.
Matthew Herhal is in his sixth season as assistant strength and conditioning coach at Columbia, where he primarily works with football, men and women’s soccer, baseball and softball. He came to Morningside Heights after two years as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, the University of Connecticut.
At UConn, he was the primary strength and conditioning coach for the Huskies’ baseball, field hockey and men’s ice hockey teams. He also assisted with men and women’s track and field, and football.
Herhal was a four-year member of the Huskies’ ice hockey team and competed for the 2000 MAAC Championship team. He graduated in 2002 with a B.S. in science exercise physiology. While a graduate assistant in Storrs, he completed coursework toward his master’s in kinesiology.
Prior to returning to UConn, Herhal was a strength and conditioning coach and fitness center coordinator at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where he worked with the Hawks’ men’s basketball team that reached the ‘elite eight’ of the NCAA Tournament in 2004. He also was a sport performance coach at Summit Sports Training Center in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Following graduation, Herhal worked as an assistant strength coach for the Reading Royals of the ‘AA’ hockey league.
Allison Salter joined the Columbia strength and conditioning staff in September 2011.
Salter recently worked with the New York Mets organization as a strength and conditioning coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets' Class-A affiliate. With the Cyclones, she directed active warmups, on-field conditioning, weight room lifts and flexibility and agility drills. Salter worked directly with managers, coaches, physical therapists and athletic trainers to ensure the overall well-being of all players.
Prior to her time with the Cyclones, Salter worked in the strength and conditioning department at Miami University in Ohio. Prior to her time at Miami, Salter was a graduate assistant in the strength and conditioning office at Wisconsin-La Crosse, where was the lead for women's basketball and assisted with men's basketball, baseball, softball, cross country, gymnastics, swimming and diving, track and field, soccer and football. Salter also has collegiate experience at Binghamton.
A 2007 graduate of Castleton State College in Vermont, Salter majored in exercise science with a concentration in strength and conditioning. At Castleton State, Salter was a student assistant with the men's ice hockey and cross country teams.
Salter holds a master's degree in exercise and sport sciences, human performances, which she received from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2009.
Former Strength Coaches
Thomas McKinney – Head Strength Coach Minnesota Timberwolves
Kenney White – Head Strength Coach Providence College
Bill Hughan – Assistant Strength Coach Oakland Raiders
Brian Gabriel – Head of Olympic Sports Coastal Carolina
Kelly Howe – Assistant Strength Coach Bowling Green