Jan 29, 2015
Strength Coaching Carousel Revolves

By R.J. Anderson

It’s been a busy couple of months for a number of college strength and conditioning coaches. See who’s in–and who’s out–at the country’s top programs.
Despite several reports to the contrary, University of Texas Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning Jeff Madden will remain with the university in that capacity and continue to oversee strength training for all Longhorn athletic teams. However, Texas has hired former University of Tennessee strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie as its new strength and conditioning coach for football.

Replacing Wylie at Tennessee is former University of South Florida strength and conditioning coach Ron McKeefery. After 11 years at South Florida, McKeefery, the 2008 Under Armour Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award winner, is Tennessee’s fifth strength coach since the start of the 2008 season.

“I am very excited to be at the University of Tennessee and to work with some of the best student-athletes in America,” McKeefery said in a release. “(UT) Coach (Derek) Dooley, the staff, and administration have the utmost character and integrity, and I am eager to begin working with the student-athletes and to contribute to the positive impact that the University is having in their lives.”

Filling the South Florida strength coach vacancy is Mike Golden. Golden comes from East Carolina University, where he worked under current South Florida Head Football Coach Skip Holtz for four seasons. Golden was also a member of Holtz’s staff when he coached at the University of Connecticut.

In Ann Arbor, Mich., new head football coach Brady Hoke has handed the team’s strength and conditioning responsibilities to Aaron Wellman, who coached with Hoke at San Diego State University. Wellman does have ties to the state, after a stint as Michigan State University’s assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2001-03.

Meanwhile, despite the firing of former Wolverine head football coach Rich Rodriguez, the Detroit News says it’s unclear what the future holds for Mike Barwis, Michigan’s strength coach under Rodriguez, who is not expected to take another coaching position for 2011-12.

At the University of Indiana, Mark Hill takes over as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for football. Hill joins the Hoosier staff after four years as the head strength and conditioning director at the University of Minnesota.

“Mark worked with Jerry Schmidt, who is the best in the business, for four years at Oklahoma,” Indiana Head Football Coach Kevin Wilson said in a release. “Jerry’s off-season program and overall player development are Oklahoma’s strengths, and Mark is a direct descendant of Jerry’s principles. We are thrilled Mark is joining us at Indiana. He was a part of starting a new program at both Arizona and Minnesota, so he is used to coming into a program from day one.”

Hill served as associate director of performance enhancement at the University of Arizona from 2004 to 2006 and worked at the University of Oklahoma as an assistant strength and conditioning director from 2000 to 2003, where he worked with Wilson.

“I am extremely excited to be at Indiana University,” Hill said. “It is great to be a Hoosier. I have known Coach Wilson for a long time and I am tremendously happy to be with a coach that I trust and respect. He is a hard worker, structured and has a great plan in place. I think we are going to be successful here. Coach is putting together a great staff and he is going to lead us to where we need to be.”

Indiana’s former head strength and conditioning coach for football, Mark Wateska, will remain at the school as Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning. He will oversee the school’s Olympic sports and remain responsible for all the the department’s strength and conditioning facilities and personnel.

Evan Marcus was recently named Director of Football Training and Development at the University of Virgina. Marcus, who was the Virginia strength coach from 2003 to 2006, returns after spending three years as strength and conditioning coach for the Miami Dolphins and one with the Atlanta Falcons.

R.J. Anderson is the Online Editor at Training & Conditioning.

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