Chip Sigmon CSCS*D, CISSN, USAW, RSCC*E
* Chip is now a certified Sports Nutritionist. Certified by the ISSN. International Society of Sports Nutrition, the leading organization when it comes to sports nutrition and supplements in the world.
- Present: Wellness Coordinator, Europa Sports Products / Strength & Conditioning Coach / Personal Trainer / Motivational Speaker.
- Certifications: CSCS*D, USAW L-1, FMT L 1&2
- 2001-2011: Manager, OrthoCarolina Sports Performance
- 1990-2011: Strength & Conditioning Coach, Charlotte Hornets, NBA
- 1997-2011: Strength & Conditioning Coach, Charlotte Sting, WNBA
- 1984-1990: Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Appalachian State University
- 1982-1984: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, UNC Chapel Hill
- 1978-1982: High School Football and Track Coach; Kannapolis City Schools
- Author: Book; 52 Week Basketball Training, Human Kinetics Publisher
- Co-Author: Book; NBA Power Conditioning, Human Kinetics Publisher
- 6 Years in Competitive Bodybuilding
- Mr. Mountaineer 1977
- Mr. North Carolina Overall winner; 1977
- Mr. Southeastern USA 1978
- Mr. Mid-America 3rd Place 1981
Lone Star Classic Texas Bodybuilding Championships Overall Winner1982
article from the salisbury post
From the start, there were clues Chip Sigmon's life wouldn't be average.
Sigmon grew up a few blocks from me in Kannapolis in the 1960s. By age 10, he was clearly different from the rest of the neighborhood kids.
My room was cluttered with baseball cards and comic books. His was dominated by barbells and exercise manuals.
For lunch, I'd consume a Zero bar and a Nu-Grape soda. He'd wolf down two glasses of milk, a stack of carrots and a head of lettuce.
My idols were Mickey Mantle and Jerry West. Sigmon looked up to Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe.
Sigmon's dad, Jim, was tough -- he'd served with the 6th Armored Division in World War II -- but he wasn't big. Sigmon knew he wasn't going to be big, either, and that worried him. All of us dreamed about being great athletes, but he wanted it a lot worse. You could see it.
While we watched "Bonanza" and read "Amazing Spider-Man," Sigmon lifted weights. He continuously hoisted his Ted Williams-brand barbells, even though everyone preached weights and athletics didn't mix.
"I was always working out," said Sigmon, who's now employed at Charlotte's Epicenter Sports Performance. "I don't believe Ted Williams ever lifted a weight in his life. But I was small, and I knew I had to get bigger."
Sigmon's progress was obvious. By the time he was 13, there were hundreds of thick veins popping out of his forearms. Whenever he took off his shirt to reveal rippling muscles, the rest of us were embarrassed and kept ours on. Even if we were swimming.
Sigmon grew up enormously strong and ridiculously fast.
"My speed was part heredity, part workouts," he said. "There are 600 muscles in the human body, and the stronger a muscle is, the faster it is."
Sigmon might have been the greatest seventh-grade running back of all-time. No one could catch him. If defenders were waiting on him, he ran over them.
He stopped growing in high school, and others started catching up. He was pure muscle, but he was 5-foot-8 and weighed just 145 pounds his senior year.
He flew around the track in the 100, 220 and 440. In football, he started at cornerback on the 1973 A.L. Brown team that went 7-2-1. Sigmon bruised a lot of receivers, and the Wonders had their best season since 1966.
Sigmon's happiest day at Brown was when the first piece of Universal weight-training equipment was installed around 1971. Weights had finally moved out of the shadows and into the light.
"You'd go to the Kannapolis Y, and the weights were hidden down in the basement where no one ever went," Sigmon said. "Now weights are the centerpiece of every Y in the country."
Sigmon got a football scholarship from Lees-McRae. After two years there, he transferred to Appalachian State.
He'd figured out by then where his future was: power lifting and body building. He won the Mr. North Carolina competition in 1977 while he was still a college student.
That trophy opened the door for his life's work. ASU baseball coach Jim Morris took one look at Sigmon and decided his team needed to start lifting weights.
Sigmon was young, but he knew his stuff. The Mountaineers' power numbers went through the roof. They won the Southern Conference.
Sigmon came back to Kannapolis after he graduated. While teaching elementary school, he helped Brown coaches Bob Boswell and Bill Wightman establish the weight-training program at Brown. All three were ahead of their time. That program transformed the Wonders into a perennial power.
Sigmon soon realized he was qualified to be an assistant strength coach for a college and applied at "every school in the country."
UNC hired him. In Chapel Hill, he worked with James Worthy, Michael Jordan and Matt Doherty. They paid attention. They wanted to look like Sigmon, who finished 11th in the 1983 Mr. America competition.
"Jordan was always first to arrive, last to leave," Sigmon said. "Great God-given ability, but he worked. The only athlete I've seen that matched Jordan's drive was Alonzo Mourning."
Morris and Mack Brown gave Sigmon his first shot as a head strength coach at Appalachian State. He put in six years in Boone before the NBA's Charlotte Hornets grabbed him.
Sigmon was part-time at first, while he managed Charlotte's King's Gym. In 1994, he went full-time with the Hornets. That meant making the road trips.
When the Hornets bolted for New Orleans in 2001, they wanted Sigmon to go with them. He said no. All his contacts were here, and his life was here.
"I didn't shed any tears when they left," he said. "I was on the road so much I was missing out on watching my daughters grow up."
Sigmon was fortunate to find another job in Charlotte that keeps him close to his wife and daughters, who are now 6 and 8.
Sigmon's title at Epicenter is strength and conditioning specialist. Epicenter focuses on rehabilitating sports injuries and enhancing the strength and speed of healthy athletes. Many of Sigmon's clients are baseball prospects.
"People will pay a lot for violin lessons, but a small investment with Epicenter can make kids faster and stronger," Sigmon said. "Stronger and faster might mean a college scholarship."
Sigmon marvels at how far knowledge has come in the field he loves.
"The technology of weight training has evolved just as much as computer technology," he said. "Fitness is a major industry."
Sigmon is a frequent motivational speaker and has written a book called "52-Week Basketball Training." The author remains a living testament to fitness as he approaches 50.
"I work out three or four times a week for an hour," he said with a laugh. "Just so I'll look a little like a strength coach."
Sigmon's father, Jim, died last year.
During Sigmon's junior high summers, his father would drop him off at McCanless Golf Club before clocking in at the Salisbury Post to set type. Sigmon would walk 36 holes and then ride back to Kannapolis with his dad when he got off work.
All that walking and those Ted Williams barbells got Sigmon started on a life that's been anything but average.