Published June 12, 2017
Every year, NHL draft-eligible prospects from around the world gather at the NHL Scouting Combine to showcase their physical attributes and mental acumen with hopes of being selected at the upcoming NHL draft. It is, for all intents and purposes, the last chance for hockey players to make an impression on prospective employers.
And at this year’s combine, there was one participant in particular who everyone was talking about. With the annual event now taking place in Buffalo, it’s only fitting that a local product — and UB alum — stole the show.
With a seemingly unparalleled level of drive and determination, Jordan Marwin thrilled onlookers at one of the event’s most difficult challenges: the Wingate bike test. The last test of the day, the 30-second, all-out sprint on a stationary bike measures a player’s explosiveness. It’s a key performance indicator and a grueling test, to say the least.
Marwin did not disappoint. But perhaps not in the way you think.
While Marwin won’t be skating for your favorite NHL team come October, he likely helped motivate and inspire a player who will be.
That’s because Marwin, a 2014 graduate of the School of Public Health and Health Professions’ exercise science master’s degree program, now works full time as an assistant sports performance coach at Impact Sports Performance in the HarborCenter. He helps administer the Wingate bike test when the Scouting Combine comes to town.
“When the combine came to Buffalo, our facility was chosen as the location to host the event. During the 2015 combine, I assisted with the Wingate test as a data collector and sort of self-imposed myself as a motivator,” Marwin says with a laugh. “In 2016, I became the Wingate station leader and got to add some of my personal flair. This year… well, the rest is history.”
That personal flair quickly attracted attention throughout the weekend. With an enthusiasm level that was off the charts, Marwin’s boisterous shouts of encouragement could be heard by anyone within earshot.
PUSH IT…. GO, GO, GO! YOU GOT THIS. FINISH THIS TEST!
Soon, the hashtag #bikeguy was popping up on social media channels, and by the end of the weekend, Marwin and bike guy were synonymous, garnering attention from the likes of NHL.com and others. A viral star was born.
“I find it funny being referred to as a viral sensation,” Marwin says. “I’m very passionate about my job, so in that respect I’m not surprised that people took notice. What sparked the attention was just me being me.”
Despite becoming a social media star, Marwin says he wouldn’t be where he is today without the knowledge he gained while pursuing his graduate studies at UB.
“To this day, I tell people that the two years I spent in the exercise science master’s program were the most valuable years of my academic career,” he says. “Finishing my master’s gave me an intense level of accomplishment and an even greater thirst for knowledge in the field of strength and conditioning.”
So, what would Marwin, aka bike guy, tell UB students who are looking for words of encouragement as they pursue their dreams? In true motivational spirit, he offers these words of advice:
“Self-belief is your number one companion. Without it, you are certain to go nowhere, and failures will become heavy and weigh you down. With strong autonomous belief in yourself, you will begin to find strength from failures, and modesty from success. With autonomous belief in yourself as your primary tool, you will become closer to attaining your dreams with every attempt.”