NCF Nation: Rob Glass
Still want more? Head over and read Pat Forde's piece on Notre Dame strength coach Paul Longo.
But here's a look at who's beefing up players across the Big 12. So the next time your favorite player flashes a flex after a touchdown, remember who had a lot to do with that.
Baylor -- Kaz Kazadi
Kazadi, a 1997 graduate of Tulsa, came to Baylor in January 2008 and also serves as the assistant athletic director. He was also the assistant strength coach for the Kansas City Chiefs after a short stop at the University of Missouri. He played professionally after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams and received his Master's degree from the University of Missouri.
Colorado -- Jeff Pitman
Pitman came to Colorado in May 2006 after seven years as the head strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, Boise State. He helped the Broncos win six WAC titles during that span and played center from 1990-92. Before coming back to Boise, he worked as an assistant strength coach at Minnesota.
Iowa State -- Yancy McKnight
McKnight came to Ames in 2009 via Houston, where he was the coach at Rice. He's coached under Les Miles and Todd Graham and helped develop pros like Tatum Bell, Kevin Williams and Antonio Smith. He's a graduate of Missouri Southern State in Joplin, Mo.
Kansas -- John Williams
Williams coached at South Carolina State before joining new coach Turner Gill at Kansas. He graduated from North Carolina A&T in 1995 and has made career stops at North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Baylor. Along the way, he's helped develop seven first-round NFL draft picks and 40 NFL players.
Kansas State -- Chris Dawson
Dawson was named the director of strength and conditioning in January after leaving Kansas and coach Mark Mangino. He's coached 29 NFL draft picks in his 15-plus years as a strength coach. He's previously coached at Minnesota and his alma mater, Oklahoma, where he played linebacker from 1992-94, as well as an internship with the Dallas Cowboys.
Missouri -- Josh Stoner
Stoner served under former director and current assistant athletic director Pat Ivey before becoming director of strength and conditioning in 2007. Stoner graduated from Centenary before receiving his Master's degree at Southern Miss. Before coming to Missouri, he made stops at Tulsa and coached at Southern Miss while earning his degree.
Nebraska -- James Dobson
Dobson came to Nebraska in 2008 after spending nine seasons at Iowa as assistant strength coach. Dobson graduated from Wisconsin and got his Master's degree at Central Michigan, and now finds himself preparing to be back in the Big Ten after helping the Hawkeyes win league titles in 2002 and 2004. Before Iowa, he'd also coached at SMU. During his career, he's coached pros like Bob Sanders and Dallas Clark, as well as linemen Robert Gallery and Ndamukong Suh.
Oklahoma -- Jerry Schmidt
Schmidt has been at Oklahoma since coach Bob Stoops' arrival in 1999 and followed the coach from Florida. He'd previously coached at Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. During that time, he's earned national championship rings from all three schools and worked with five Heisman winners including Sam Bradford, Jason White, Danny Wuerffel, Barry Sanders and Tim Brown. He's also coached 28 first-round NFL draft picks. Since coming to Norman, Oklahoma's produced 48 picks, including 12 first-rounders.
Oklahoma State -- Rob Glass
Glass, an Oklahoma State alum, spent 10 seasons at Florida under Steve Spurrier before coming back home to Stillwater. He had previously been an assistant strength coach when head coach Mike Gundy played in Stillwater, but left for Gainesville in 1995 before earning to head position in 1998. He's worked with 17 first-round picks, including two Heisman winners, a Thorpe Award winner, a Ray Guy Award winner and a Golden Spikes award on the baseball field.
Texas -- Jeff Madden
Madden came to Austin via North Carolina and is in his 13th year as the assistant athletics director for strength and conditioning at Texas. Madden, a graduate of Vanderbilt, played briefly in the USFL and has made stops at Cincinnati, Rice and Colorado over the course of his 20-year career. He's helped develop over 100 NFL players, including 32 first-round draft picks and 16 Olympians. Among his pupils: Two Heisman winners and two Heisman runners-up, along with numerous college football award winners. Madden spoke to ESPN earlier this week, and we'll have a Q&A with the Cleveland native later this morning.
Texas A&M -- Dave Kennedy
Kennedy came to Texas A&M in 2008 under Mike Sherman and has coached at Ohio State, Pittsburgh and his alma mater, Nebraska, most recently. Sherman, a former NFL coach, also notes that he turned down numerous NFL jobs. Kennedy has helped develop future Pro Bowlers like Eddie George, Orlando Pace and Larry Fitzgerald throughout his career, which began at Nebraska in 1982, when he was a student assistant.
Texas Tech -- Joe Walker
Walker was at Auburn for two years before joining former Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville for each's first season in Lubbock. He's also coached at TCU, Kansas State and Pittsburgh since earning his Master's degree from Auburn in 2004 after earning a bachelor's degree from Lock Haven University in 2002.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Zac Robinson is confident about his team's chances this season.
Oklahoma State's senior quarterback expects to see an improvement over last season's 9-4 record. And he knows that a strong collective effort could lead to a shot at the Cowboys' first Big 12 South Division title and the school's first BCS bowl bid.
|Robert Benson/US Presswire|
|Zac Robinson is excited about what the Cowboys bring back for 2009.|
We sat down to talk with Robinson about wide receiver Dez Bryant's freakish athletic talents, Robinson's reasons for added weight from last season and what the Cowboys need to do to become Big 12 title contenders.
Your coach, Mike Gundy, is making a point to develop your backups and cutting back on your work this spring. Do you like your lack of activity?
Zac Robinson: It has been a little different for me this spring. I'll get out and get my reps and then spend my time teaching the young receivers. Any way I can help with the signal or with certain routes. I'm there trying to help them out and also the other quarterbacks. I'm just trying to get a lot of mental repetitions with the offense and help the other guys out.
When we go with our team period, I'll get the first four snaps and then let the rest of them ride out the rest of the period. Our offense is looking good. It's good to get a little bit of a break. I want to try to better myself in any way I can, but the other guys can use the work in the individual periods. I understand where they are going with it and how they want to have the next guys ready to go.
With Dez Bryant recovering from an injury and Bo Bowling suspended, a lot of your younger receivers are getting most of the snaps in the spring. How do they look so far?
ZR: The work they will get this spring will be great for them. I'm already seeing some guys who might be challenge for some playing time. And as much as it hurt us not to have Dez out there this spring, it's really good for our younger guys to get some reps. I'm excited to see them stand up and find out who can help us out. We've always known we have guys who are talented and who can help us out. They have stepped up in a big way this spring and shown what they can do.