Dan Potts, a long-time strength and conditioning coach who trained top high school, college and professional athletes – including many from the Edmonds School District – died Jan. 16, 2014, following a 16-year battle with cancer.
Mr. Potts, an Edmonds resident who had just celebrated his 62nd birthday Jan. 1, died peacefully at University of Washington Medical Center with his wife Pritam Potts by his side and his family close by.
A former baseball player at the University of Washington, Mr. Potts started out in exercise equipment sales. Also a competitive bodybuilder, he went on to open Body Power Gym in the Northgate area, and helped over 100 women take the stage in bodybuilding contests. He placed second in the 1986 Mr. Seattle competition and judged several competitions as well, most notably with Arnold Schwarzenegger. While at Body Power he started working with elite athletes, including the US Olympic team and the University of Washington National Championship Football Team. Baseball continued to be his passion after leaving college and he played with the Rainiers in the Puget Sound Men’s Senior Baseball League from 1995 to 1998, where he was named MVP in 1998.
He founded Advanced Athlete in 1985, training elite baseball and football athletes at the high school, college and professional levels in gym space he rented in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood. Notable local athletes that he worked with include James Clifford (UW football), Bobby Jenks (Chicago White Sox), Ryan Riley (Tampa Bay Rays), Austin Jones (New York Yankees), and Owen Jones (Los Angeles Dodgers).
“He was a coach who led, inspired, loved, supported and never left anyone feeling they weren’t better than they realized,” said his wife, Pritam Potts, who also worked with Mr. Potts as a strength coach at Advanced Athlete. “He had the biggest heart, but wouldn’t tolerate it if he felt any of his athletes was living up to less than his or her potential. He had the gift of seeing the best in everyone and he supported hundreds of young athletes in finding their true potential, whether or not it lay in sports.”
Mr. Potts was born Jan. 1, 1952 in Seattle. He grew up in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood and started playing baseball early on. At age 13, he received the “Most Inspirational” award in the NW Pony League. He continued to play all the way through high school at Bishop Blanchet. At the University of Washington, he studied business and played Husky baseball from 1970-72 before embarking on his long career in health and fitness.
He is survived by his wife Pritam, his children Nick (Melissa) and Amanda (Brandon), grandsons Colton Huppert and Jeremy and Josh DeLap, two unborn twin grandbabies, his sisters Sharon (Sonny) and Colleen (John), and many loving cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws.
A memorial service is currently in the planning stages. If you have interest in attending please visit www.facebook.com/advancedathlete and send a message.