Get to know Jason Griffin - Founder of IMR Athletics
Learn about EvoGeneral and EvoShield Training Ambassador Jason Griffin.
WHO IS JASON GRIFFIN?
#EvoGeneral and Certified Strength and Performance Coach Jason Griffin, EvoShield’s first Training Ambassador, has reached the summit of athletic training. His experience includes work with MLB, NFL and NBA teams, and he has trained the likes of Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Chris Slayton, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward, and Chicago Cubs shortstop Ed Howard, the 16th overall selection in the 2020 MLB Draft. The founder and owner of IMR Athletics in Chicago’s South Side, Griffin continues to train hundreds of athletes annually.
“IMR Athletics gets to work with some of the best athletes throughout the Chicagoland area, throughout the Midwest, throughout the country,” Griffin said.
From 2016 through 2020, Griffin trained more than 750 athletes at the IMR Athletics facility. Over that same time, approximately 317 athletes under his instruction have committed to college programs for sports including baseball, football, soccer, volleyball and more.
“When I get a call from a university saying, ‘your athletes are the most well-prepared athletes when they hit campus,’ that’s my reward.”
GRIFFIN’S EVOSHIELD CONNECTION
Griffin first discovered EvoShield while working as a strength and conditioning coach for the New York Mets. Griffin noticed players wearing EvoShield batter’s protective equipment, and he wanted to learn more about the brand after spotting the logo in team facilities.
“The logo itself is just unique,” Griffin said. “It was smooth. It wasn’t too extravagant, and I was like, ‘Man, what is that?’”
Griffin browsed the EvoShield website, learning how the brand developed elite protective equipment and apparel for baseball, football, lacrosse and other sports. Since then, the EvoShield training ambassador has collected an assortment of hats, training tees and other gear that he wears while training his athletes. Griffin’s favorite piece of EvoShield apparel? The Pro Team Short Sleeve Hoodie.
“I wear it every day,” Griffin said.
Griffin and EvoShield both call Chicago home, and both work to benefit athletes in the community. EvoShield and Griffin hold a shared goal of keeping players on the field. While EvoShield exists to offer elite protective equipment, Griffin and his IMR Athletics team help athletes to maximize performance and prevent injury. Griffin will work with EvoShield as a brand ambassador while training his athletes, providing EvoShield with feedback on future training-related apparel pieces.
“It’s been a great ride so far,” Griffin said. “Now, to be able to wear the EvoShield logo while doing it, it makes it even sweeter.”
JASON GRIFFIN’S EXPERIENCE
Griffin, a former defensive back at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, began his athletic training career with the Oakland Raiders in 2009. During his time in Oakland, Griffin also trained basketball players for the Golden State Warriors. In 2012, Griffin moved across the country to join the New York Mets as a strength and conditioning coach.
In 2016, he returned home to Chicago to work with the White Sox organization. After three successful years, he left the club to establish IMR Athletics, his South Side training facility. He now trains athletes of all ages, focusing on baseball, basketball and football. Griffin begins his mornings early, waking shortly after 4 a.m. to train more than 75 athletes over a full workday at IMR. He then studies late into the night to continue developing sport-specific training programs for his athletes.
“A lot of athletes want to be around someone who has done it at the highest level,” Griffin said. “A lot of people already say, ‘Well, Griff has done it at three major sports. He’s got to know what he’s doing.’ But you’ve got to understand, I’m still teaching myself every night when I go home.”
THE JASON GRIFFIN FOUNDATION
Griffin and his brother were raised by a single mother in Harvey, Illinois, near IMR’s current location. In 2007, he created the Jason Griffin Foundation to support families like his.
“I saw the struggles. I saw the challenges and things, but she did a great job to instill some things in me to be the person who I am,” Griffin said. “The Jason Griffin Foundation, the mission of it is to be a resource for single mothers and single fathers, and also athletes and the youth ages 6 to 18 in underserved communities.”
In addition to providing resources for single-parent households, the Jason Griffin Foundation offers academic scholarships and stipends for kids to participate in organized sports. Griffin’s foundation sponsors Chicago area students, using a percentage of IMR revenues to provide scholarships.
“I’m thinking about creative ways to give back to a lot of single-family homes,” Griffin said. “That’s what the Jason Griffin Foundation is about.”
To support the Jason Griffin Foundation, visit jasongriffinfoundation.org.