Getting To Know: Lewis Caralla
Coach Caralla Enters His First Football Season With The Mean Green
Head coaches are at the front and center of every college athletic team. Their assistant coaches are tirelessly working behind the scenes, juggling multiple things at once. What are their stories?
Every Wednesday during the summer, MeanGreenSports.com will be featuring an assistant coach from a North Texas team.
One of the new faces that will be pacing the North Texas sidelines this fall is Lewis Caralla, the director of strength and conditioning for the football team. Caralla arrived in January, so he has already made an impact with the team in the spring and currently during the summer. Prior to coming to North Texas, Caralla spent three seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Michigan. He joined the Michigan football program after serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for football at Mississippi State (2011) and Georgia Tech (2010-11).
How did you get involved in coaching, specifically strength and conditioning?
“When I was a junior in college, I was still playing football and I was trying to do something as an internship, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do yet. I thought I might want to be P.E. teacher. But my girlfriend, now my wife at the time, told me you can always be a P.E. teacher, why don’t you try for something special. So in 2008 I went to South Florida as a volunteer; it was that summer that I knew then what I wanted to do to. I wanted to be a strength coach and a football strength coach.”
Tell us about your journey to North Texas?
“I was a graduate assistant at Mississippi State for a year and a half while I got my master’s degree, worked with football and a few other sports. My first-full time job was at Georgia Tech working with football and men’s golf, and then I went back to Mississippi State as an assistant for football only. My last job was at Michigan for three years as an assistant for football, and I learned a ton under my former boss.
It was funny, but it went all the way back to my first internship at South Florida, from my old boss, who got me this job at North Texas. Coach Mac called him, had a great relationship with him, and he recommended me and I got lucky there and just tried to work hard.”
What has made you passionate about your role and strength and conditioning?
“A lot of people in strength and conditioning think of it as just that only, but I look at it as a platform to lead young men. Not one day I come in and say ‘Man I hope these guys squat well today.’ I come in and say, ‘Man I hope I can change these guys perspective on life and just be great men and leaders.’ I just want them to be great at what they do and train for it, that’s it.”
What is it about your job that people don’t realize is a major role?
“As a strength coach it seems kinda simple, seems kinda fun, and it is. But at the same time you’re managing 100 guys with football, and there is not one day that goes by where one kid doesn’t have a certain issue. So you get texts all night, kids have problems in their lives and you’re the guy that’s the voice in their lives because they are not with their position coaches during the summer, so it’s a constant psychologist, life coach, it’s a constant friend, brother, enforcer, disciplinarian and everything that goes into it. We are trying to mold these kids into what they will become someday.”
Tell me something about Denton and Texas you didn’t know about until moving here?
“I know the BBQ is absolutely incredible. I’ve never tasted brisket so good in my life. And also there is no myth about the Texas heat; it is a bear every day, especially on the turf.”
Getting To Know Archive
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June 10 - Derek Mackel
June 17 - Daniel Dobson
June 24 - Jeff Hammond
July 1 - Brittany Sayler
July 8 - Kasondra Foreman
July 15 - Natalie Kozlowski