By Reid Maus
A few years back Luke Day found himself in a precarious position. His career took a screeching halt. From leading the weight programs at major universities to moving home and pouring concrete, Day and his wife Trisha decided if they were going to struggle– they were going to struggle well.
“Struggle is inevitable, so you might as well figure out a way to do it well instead of avoiding it at all cost,” said Day.
Day, a 2006 graduate of Hamilton High, decided to enter the highly competitive professional field of strength and conditioning at the collegiate level. In 2021, he was tabbed to lead the strength program for the University of South Carolina football team. Day made several stops along the way to the Southeastern Conference. Among those moves was a transition from Marshall University to the University of Colorado– which turned out to be a step backwards.
“I took a big ‘L’ on the chin, it was a major setback,” said Day. “From a career standpoint, if you get kicked out of this game, it’s very hard to get back in. Right, wrong or indifferent it’s about where you’ve been and how you’ve been doing it lately.”
Day showing resilience like the city he grew up in, found a way to get in the game. Following a year of being back in Hamilton, Day went back to Marshall which spring-boarded this opportunity for the Gamecocks.
Like most strength coaches, Day has bounced around from program to program, learning along the way. The man who first piqued Day’s interest in the field, was none other than Arvie Crouch— who is in his first year as the head coach of the Big Blue.
“Arvie, who was my defensive line coach at Hamilton, got his first head coaching job at Mount Healthy. He said why don’t you help out in the weight room,” said Day. “That was my first coaching job ever, which turned into a graduate assistant role at University of Cincinnati.”
From there his career blossomed. Stops at the University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, Hamilton High School and the Cincinnati Bengals before finding his gig at Marshall.
All that moving isn’t easy on a family, and Day knows that it wouldn’t be possible without his wife Trisha.
“When you get offered a job, you don’t have a few months to get your stuff in order. You show up the next day,” said Day. “So I’ll hop on a plane or in a truck and she has to sell the house or get out of a lease, then I won’t see them till they arrive. She has done that multiple times.”
Luke and Trisha have two kids; a nine year old son, Jaynes and a six year old daughter Norah.
“People ask me all the time how to get into this field, and I say ‘have you had this conversation with your wife or girlfriend?” said Day. “Is she down for uncertainty and moving? Is she down for getting hired and fired, moving across the country all in a matter of days? I’m so blessed to have the type of mother and wife that Trisha has been. Without her, it’s not possible.”
This career is a grind and as Day has learned, you have to struggle well. He acknowledges all the people in his life that have put him in position to succeed. Above the rest, he knows his hometown, Hamilton, has left the biggest mark.
Whether he was doing ministry work with his mom at Ford’s pool, or working his tail off for his uncle at Day’s Sunoco, or Arvie Crouch working him at football practice, or Tim Reed being his gym teacher at Garfield Junior High— all the people he met in this town have helped in succeed in his career. Perhaps no one embodies the struggle well mentality quite like our city of Hamilton.