Like Father, Like Son


The father-son bond of these two went from Mercer’s classroom to the lacrosse field, literally and figuratively.  One of Mercer men’s lacrosse stars on the field this spring, Jack Kalinowski, is the son of John Kalinowksi, Professor of Health and Exercise Science and founder of the Exercise Science program at MCCC.  In addition to founding the Exercise Science program at Mercer, “Kal” as John is known as, also started a Strength and Conditioning program for Mercer’s athletic teams and started his own training business, the Kalinowski Performance Academy, located in Morrisville, PA, which offers personal, group, team and academy prep training.


Based on the conditioning and training experience of Kalinowski, it’s not surprising that his son Jack found success on the lacrosse field this spring.  Freshman attacker Kalinowski scored 36 goals, which was 10th best in the nation.  Kalinowski also had 12 assists, 10 ground balls and finished his rookie season with 48 points, good for 15th best in the nation.


When asked about how Kal’s background has helped Jack, Kal said “Jack learned at an early age the value of taking care of his body and to train in a way that will maximize his athletic potential.  There are many outlets for Strength and Conditioning information for people today.  Jack was lucky to learn from someone who has been successful in the industry for 26 years and who trains based on an individual's needs, experience, ability, and current competition schedule.”


Jack knew about the opportunities at Mercer from his dad, but Kal explained why Jack chose MCCC. “Jack is very business minded.  Mercer was the best opportunity for him.  Going to MCCC made it possible for him to continue to run and grow the sneaker business that he started when he was 16.  If he had gone to a four year institution, he would have had to live on campus and not be able to run the business.  MCCC also offers him an opportunity to continue to showcase his lacrosse talents.  Lastly, it benefits my wife, Jessica and I because we can still attend all of his games.”


While not a sport Kal played himself, he has enjoyed lacrosse through his son.  “I think lacrosse is a great game.  It is fast, exciting, and hard hitting.  I didn't know anything about it growing up in Bristol, PA.  However, I would have played it.”


Kal’s love of health, fitness and athletics is evident.  Kal hopes the Exercise Science program at MCCC can grow and gain more interest.  “Being the founder of the Exercise Science program at MCCC, I am obviously very passionate about it and what kind of impact it can have on our students and society.  I believe in the students.  I believe in the program.  I believe in the faculty and staff that support it.  I hope we can continue to grow the program and create more opportunities for students interested in the field.”


While Kal enjoyed training the athletes at MCCC, his performance academy allows him the opportunity to share his love and knowledge to even more people.  “I started the Kalinowski Performance Academy because I wanted to make a difference.  I believe that everyone deserves a chance to be their best.  I wanted to use my knowledge, talents, and skills to help people of all ages, all abilities, and all levels to maximize their potential.” 


Kal discussed the similarities between coaching and teaching.  “I believe that teaching is coaching and coaching is teaching.  You can't have one without the other.  Both require you to be a selfless leader.  Both require continued learning and application.  Both require educating.  Both require motivating.  Both require you to find ways to guide people to achieve their optimal level of success.” 


Kal has seen the change in athletes in his years at MCCC, “The biggest change in the athletes at MCCC since I have been here is the quality and commitment.  The coaches have done a great job recruiting athletes with talent, athletes that understand the value of strength & conditioning, athletes that take care of their body and athletes that want to succeed.”


While he no longer works with the sports teams at MCCC, Kal will be keeping a close eye on the lacrosse team and his son Jack.  “I am always proud of both of my sons’ decisions and achievements. It is special to see Jack make an impact in the classroom and on the field at MCCC.”


Jack earned All-Region Academic and All-Conference Academic honors for both the fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters and was also named 1st Team All-GSAC (Garden State Athletic Conference) and 1st Team All-Region 19 for lacrosse. 


Kal has left an impact on MCCC students on and off the field for years, and the same impact in academics and athletics was evident with his son Jack in the classroom and lacrosse field this spring.




MCCC Professor of Health and Exercise Science John Kalinowksi or "Kal" and his son Jack after a Mercer lacrosse game



Freshman lacrosse player Jack Kalinowski