San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Mike Grier announced today that the team has hired Mike Potenza as director of high performance.

Potenza will oversee the strength & conditioning and nutrition staffs and serve as a liaison to the Sharks medical training staff to ensure a streamlined collaboration between the two departments, focusing on the Sharks player’s health, training, fitness, and rehabilitation programs.

Following 16 seasons working with the Sharks organization, Potenza joined the Golden State Warriors in 2022 as their director of performance. In that role, he was responsible for the player’s training schedules, management of performance testing, implementation of player specific training programs, and served as a liaison to the coaching staff to maximize the efficiency of performance and management for team workout schedules.

Between 2006-2022, Potenza served as the Sharks strength and conditioning coach. He was directly responsible for the team’s overall strength and conditioning programs, which included the physical testing and evaluation at training camp, creation of individualized workout programs, and assistance in the rehabilitation programs for all injured players. Through his time in San Jose, Potenza worked directly with several notable and legendary veteran players, including Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Prior to joining the Sharks organization, Potenza served as the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Wisconsin Men and Women hockey teams, both who captured the 2006 NCAA National Championship. Potenza also had responsibilities with the wrestling and softball programs at Wisconsin.  

A 2000 Springfield College graduate, Potenza earned his Bachelor of Science degree in applied exercise science. From there, the Providence, R.I., native went to Boston University where he was a graduate assistant until 2002, earning his master's degree in human movement science.

Potenza was part of the evaluation staff for the U.S. World Junior hockey team that competed at the 2008 World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic. His responsibilities included offering presentations on nutrition and recovery, administering physical testing and designing performance evaluations for each prospect.

Away from the rink, Potenza was a consultant with United States Air Force Pararescue teams based in California (131st RQS) and Alaska (212th RQS) on the implementation and design of their Human Performance Program. The USAF Pararescue career-field provides medical and tactical support to tier-1 Special Ops assets during missions abroad. They are also a local asset state-side for rescue needs in conjunction with the United States Coast Guard.

Potenza, and his wife, Bonnie, have three children (Griffin, Natalie and Luca).