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Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher announced today that Sergio Merino has been named the College’s new director of athletic performance, while Jake Janicki and Katie Sampson have been added to the athletic training staff.

Merino was promoted to director of athletic performance after serving as the assistant director of athletic performance at the College for the previous two months. He will help create and oversee all student-athlete development programs and athletic performance related activities, and he will work directly with the Canisius baseball, men and women’s basketball, hockey, volleyball and women’s lacrosse programs. 

Prior to joining the Canisius staff, Merino spent two years as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Quinnipiac, where he oversaw strength and conditioning efforts for the Bobcats’ men and women’s lacrosse teams, men’s soccer team, the baseball program and the school’s acrobatics and tumbling teams. As part of his position at Quinnipiac, he developed and implemented strength and conditioning programs, monitored training readiness and recovery of student-athletes and oversaw, managed and educated interns. Before joining the staff at Quinnipiac, he spent two years working for the Ranfone Training Systems group in Hamden, Conn., for two years and he also worked at the Moore Center for Rehabilitation, where he oversaw daily operations and assisted in the development of the center’s training process for new hires. 

A 2009 graduate of Southern Connecticut State, Merino earned his master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion and sports psychology from California (Pa.) in 2013. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the NSCA and he’s also a Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach.

Janicki joins the Canisius athletic training staff after spending the 2013-14 academic year at Western Michigan, where he served as an athletic training intern for football. Prior to joining the Western Michigan staff, the Indianapolis native served a two-year graduate assistantship at the University of Utah, where he worked primarily with the Utes’ men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs while working toward his master’s degree in exercise and sport science/sport medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree in athletic training from Indiana University in 2011. As an undergraduate student, Janicki worked with the Hoosiers’ men’s soccer, football, men’s and women’s tennis, softball and track and field programs. At Canisius, he will serve as the team athletic trainer for men’s soccer and men’s basketball.

A 2006 graduate of Canisius, Sampson returns to Buffalo after serving as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Rochester since Oct. 2010. At Rochester, she was the team athletic trainer for six varsity teams, including volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball. She served as an athletic trainer at Medaille College from 2008-10, where she oversaw coverage of all 13 Maverick sports programs. She was a graduate assistant at Boston University from 2006-08 while she earned her master’s degree in applied anatomy and physiology. In her time as a student at Canisius, she served as head student athletic trainer in 2004 and she also acted as the president of the athletic training student council. At Canisius, she will serve as the head athletic trainer for volleyball, men’s lacrosse and men and women’s swimming and diving programs.

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