Who's who among Big East strength coaches

June, 23, 2010
6/23/10
10:00
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Strength coaches have become some of the most valuable men in a college football program, often spending more time with the players than any other coach on staff.

So who are the guys who condition the players in the Big East and supervise them in the offseason? Let's take a look:

Cincinnati: Dave Lawson came aboard with Butch Jones' new staff in January after spending three years with Jones at Central Michigan. Before that, Lawson oversaw the strength and conditioning programs for all of Eastern Michigan's sports teams. He was an assistant strength coach at West Virginia.

Connecticut: Jerry Martin oversees workout activities for all of UConn's varsity teams and works closely with the football team. He has spent the past 20 years at the school. He played for Syracuse in the 1980s, where he was a teammate of Huskies coach Randy Edsall.

Louisville: Pat Moorer is in his first year with the Cardinals, joining Charlie Strong's new staff. Moorer spent the previous seven seasons as the strength and conditioning coach for South Carolina. Before that, he was the strength coach at Illinois and Florida. He crossed paths with Strong at both Florida and South Carolina. Moorer was also once the personal trainer for NFL rushing champion Emmitt Smith.

Pittsburgh: Buddy Morris is in his third different stint as the Panthers' strength coach. Dave Wannstedt hired him back in December 2006. Before that, Morris was the school's strength coach from 1980-89 and 1997-2001. He also graduated from the school and served as the Cleveland Browns' strength coach under Butch Davis.

Rutgers: Jay Butler holds the title of assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning. He is entering his 10th year of overseeing the Scarlet Knights' football team, spending all of Greg Schiano's tenure in that role. Butler designed the 15,000-square foot strength and conditioning facility in the team's Hale Center complex.

South Florida: Ron McKeefery stayed on board for the Bulls during the transition from Jim Leavitt to Skip Holtz. He's entering his 11th season at South Florida and has worked for the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and an NFL Europe team. He was an all-conference performer in both football and track at Ottawa (Kan.) University.

Syracuse: William Hicks' official title is assistant athletic director for athletic performance, and he's been at Syracuse since 2000. Before that, he coordinated the conditioning program for NC State, where he was named ACC strength coach of the year in 1999.

West Virginia: Mike Joseph is in his third year as the Mountaineers' strength coach, coming to Morgantown after five years as an assistant at Notre Dame. He earned his master's degree from West Virginia and served as a graduate assistant there. He was a three-year captain on the Fairmont State football team, earning conference player of the year honors in 1996.

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