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Communications and Marketing

Khoogas Mekaelian ’11 in the news

Spanish major Khoogas Mekaelian ’11, now a Major League Baseball strength coach, was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune “Shout Out” section.

Shout Out: Khoogas Mekaelian, Lake Forest college and high school alum now MLB strength coach

By Daniel I. Dorfman 

Khoogas Mekaelian grew up in Lake Bluff and attended Lake Forest High School and Lake Forest College. Today he is a strength and conditioning coach for the Houston Astros baseball team, where much of his focus in working in Latin America. He has an Armenian family lineage and he trained as a weightlifter with the Armenian national team in the summer of 2017.

Q: What drew you to become a strength and conditioning coach?

A: When I was in high school, I played a lot of sports. Then I took an interest in weightlifting. For Armenians, it is a very big sport. I took an attraction to that and started lifting. Eventually I started working in the private sector and then after a couple of years being a first grade teacher, I re-entered strength conditioning because I felt that was my true passion.

Q: When you were at Lake Forest High School, did you see yourself going down this path?

A: I knew I would be in some sort of professional setting in sports. But I wasn’t sure where.

Q: What do you enjoy about your work?

A: Being out there with that warrior mindset and producing the best athletes in the world. Also, most if not all, of the athletes come from extreme poverty and hunger with no regulation equipment. However, almost 40 percent of Major League Baseball players come from Latin America. Our athletes are deeply spiritual and we pray before every practice, training and game and I truly have come to believe that keeping their faith in God as a priority continues to make such a statistic a reality.