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12/04/2008 3:01 PM ET
Nationals complete strength and conditioning, and physical therapy staffs
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The Washington Nationals today named John Philbin as strength and conditioning coach and Elizabeth Wheeler as physical therapist. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

In his position, Philbin will draw on 29 years of fitness experience, including eight (1992-2000) as a strength coach with the Washington Redskins. Since his days with the Redskins, Philbin has served as the Olympic head coach and director of sports science and conditioning for the U.S. bobsled team (1988-92), as director of strength and conditioning at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, and as conditioning coach for two-time world-champion boxer Fernando Vargas.

Philbin is the founder and president of the National Strength Professionals Association (NSPA), which is an internationally recognized certification and education agency for strength conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, post-rehabilitation specialist, personal trainers and physical education teachers. In 2005, Philbin opened Philbin's Athletic Training Center (PATC) in Gaithersberg, MD.

Philbin was an elite athlete himself, as he was a member of the 1984 U.S. bobsled team. He also was an All-American decathlete and football player at Frostberg State University. Philbin later earned a Master's in Physical Education and Administration from the University of Maryland, where he subsequently served as the athletic department's strength coach.

Wheeler earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The College of St. Catherine in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and currently serves as an outpatient orthopedist rehabilitation specialist at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Chevy Chase, MD. Wheeler has worked closely with dozens of elite-level athletes from Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL, NBA, Women's soccer and the University of Notre Dame football and baseball programs.

Wheeler also has experience working for USA Track & Field, specifically as a personal physical therapist for the 2008 Olympic mid-distance running team. Wheeler's education and experience have made her highly soughtafter on the fitness speaker's circuit, with her frequent topics of choice being sports nutrition, functional stretching, and advanced ACL rehabilitation.

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