© October/November 2009
Head Coach Urban Meyer has called him perhaps the most valuable member of his staff. After just over four years with the Florida Gators, he’s widely recognized as one of the best, if not the very best, strength and conditioning coach in America. And now, with two BCS National Championship titles in the last three seasons, he’s at the very pinnacle of college football.
He’s University of Florida Director of Strength and Conditioning Mickey Marotti and he’s prepping the Gators for another title run this season.
Despite the accolades and media attention he has recently received, Marotti has remained humble. He believes the most important aspect of a successful strength and conditioning program at the collegiate level is the support of the head football coach and the athletic director. “Urban Meyer gives the strength and conditioning program his unconditional support,” said Marotti. “Without question he has been involved and supportive. And (Athletic Director) Jeremy Foley provides us with great resources to help get our job done.”
Those resources include the new Griffin-Oakley Strength & Conditioning Complex, which features an extensive collection of state-of-the-art Power Lift Equipment. After the 2006 championship season, a major renovation and expansion of UF’s football facilities was initiated, including the new strength and conditioning facility. Marotti supervised the project, in which the existing weight room of less than 10,000 square feet was expanded to nearly 25,000 square feet. Power Lift representatives assisted Marotti every step of the way – developing a floor plan, putting together budgets, reviewing equipment options and even helping sell the old equipment.
AFM asked Marotti about his championships with the Gators, how his new facility provides a better training environment, his choice of Power Lift equipment and the services they provide above and beyond selling equipment.
AFM: From your perspective as Director of Strength and Conditioning, how did winning a second national championship compare to winning the first?
Marotti: It was great, obviously. Winning the second championship was especially gratifying, because a lot of the players in 2008 were on that 2006 championship team, but did not play a whole lot. They did, however, experience that championship run, which helped them in their mental and physical preparation for the 2008 championship.
How do you motivate athletes who have already won a championship or, in the case of your seniors, two?
Our goals at the University of Florida are to one, win championships, two, graduate our players and, three, have our players have a chance to play in the NFL. Our football players are extremely driven student athletes and our program is an extremely driven program. Motivation is seldom an issue.
You recently opened a renovated and expanded strength and conditioning facility. What’s the biggest difference between your old facility and the new Griffin-Oakley Strength & Conditioning Complex?
First thing is the size difference. The old facility was about 9,500 square feet, while the new training facility is around 24,000 square feet. There is a lot more space and a lot more equipment opportunities in our new facility.
How has the additional equipment helped you train more efficiently?
We now can have more athletes and more teams during the “prime” hours and we can manage their schedules more efficiently and effectively.
Do you have any new equipment that has proven to be particularly useful?
Well, all of our new equipment has been useful. Our multi-use platforms from Power Lift are extremely useful and efficient.
What factors were most important to you when you purchased your new equipment?
When deciding on new equipment, we looked at functionality, durability, and then aesthetics. We wanted equipment that serves specific functions, holds up well under extreme use, looks good and is a good reflection of our program. Power Lift equipment meets our needs across the board.
Take us through how Power Lift helped you during the renovation and upgrading of your facility. In addition to selling you new equipment, what other services did they provide?
Power Lift put together some floor plans based off of the facility plan. We had to be extremely efficient in the layout, mostly because we have many columns in the room, since the weight room is constructed under the stadium. They assisted us with selling and location of some of our older equipment.
Given your experience with Power Lift over the course of your career, how would you rate their equipment in terms of quality and durability and how would you rate the company in terms of customer service?
Every time I have worked with Power Lift, they have delivered a quality product. But, to me, almost more important is the service. If any issues ever come up, they are there to make it the way you want it. They are consistent time after time. They are like a clutch hitter in baseball who always delivers. Time and time again. u