C.J. Molina: Keeping Everyone Fit at His Perfect Fit


“Colgate checked all the boxes for me. It had a campus recreation position and was close to home and family,” Assistant Director of Recreation Programming C.J. Molina said. 

Self-described as a “local boy” from Utica, N.Y, Molina’s job involves overseeing club sports, intramurals and fitness classes offered to students, faculty and staff. 

“A typical day entails planning and coordinating with student leaders and colleagues to ensure facilities are reserved, and that proper staffing is ensured for every program the department offers,” Molina said. 

After obtaining an associate’s degree in recreation and leisure services, Molina went on to work at Mohawk Valley Community College, where he helped with intramural sports and recreation facilities. There, he decided to go back and finish his undergraduate degree from SUNY Cortland before landing in Hamilton, N.Y. 

As a facilitator of Colgate athletics services for students, faculty and staff, Molina plays an important role in providing opportunities for physical health and fitness. A former three-sport athlete himself, athletics are close to the heart for Molina. In high school, he played football, basketball and ran track. Colgate seemed to be the perfect fit for him. 

“Growing up so close to here, I’ve always known of Colgate and the history of the school, mostly being a sports nut with Division 1 athletics being so close to me. But if you told me that when I graduated, I would end up working here in a field I’m passionate about, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. 

At home, Molina takes pride in the closeness of his family, including his parents, brother and nephew.

“I have a very tight-knit family. I am very lucky to have known many generations of my family, including my great-great grandmother as a kid.”

When asked about the people who inspire Molina, he responded simply: “My parents. They both have shown me to make the best of whatever situation you are in. Your attitude dictates everything.”

Molina’s closeness with his family extends to sports, particularly boxing. He is not only a fan, but a USA Boxing instructor who is teaching a class this semester at Colgate. Molina noted that this passion began when he was little.

“Some of my best memories are watching fights with my dad as a kid,” he said. “Boxing was his main sport as a kid and it’s something he passed to me.”

Even though boxing seems to be Molina’s main passion, his interests in sports are far-ranging, extending even to fishing and gaming. At Colgate, Molina finds enjoyment in all sports on campus as appreciates experiencing some of the sports he hadn’t been exposed to, such as rugby or ski racing. 

Despite Molina’s lifelong emersion in the world of sports, his work to ensure students, faculty and staff members have the chance to participate in various athletics and physical fitness programs on campus isn’t centered around his own passion for sports. Rather, Molina notes it is an opportunity to form a tight-knit family away from home.

“I have been very lucky to meet people here I now consider friends. That is from both the professional staff and the student body. The campus is full of people who are always willing to help when needed,” he said.

Molina is one of these people always willing to help. He’s behind the scenes, offering programs for all areas of interest.

“Even though the pandemic has limited our program offerings, the department is still offering many things for all different interests,” he said.

Students can check out IMLeagues.com for details about fitness programming this semester.