Over Ten Years of the Strength Reportby: Rex LardnerManaging Editor
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Nebraska’s Boyd Epley is generally regarded as the father of collegiate strength and conditioning. Epley convinced Nebraska Head Coach Bob Devaney in the late 60’s that a strength and conditioning program would make the Husker players bigger, faster, and stronger. Devaney approved the program but he told Epley, “If any of our players get slower, you’re fired.”
With a strength and conditioning program in place, Epley helped Nebraska become a national power in the 70’s. He premiered specific training techniques and lifts, developmental exercises and evaluation tests. He also pioneered off-season and detailed summer conditioning programs. Epley arguably is the most important person in the history of strength and conditioning and how it relates to college athletes. In October, 2003, Epley was featured in a cover story in American Football Monthly.
Today, just about every collegiate program and high school program across the country has a specialized strength and conditioning coach. State of the art weight training facilities are considered critical parts of an overall program. For most high schools and colleges, off-season training and spring and summer conditioning are mandatory components of a football program. Strength and conditioning has become 24/7, 365.
AFM began monthly ‘Strength Reports’ in the September, 2006 issue. The idea surfaced after Texas Strength Coach Jeff Madden was featured in the March, 2006 issue with an article entitled, “How Texas Builds Strength.” This past fall was the Strength Report’s 10th anniversary which translates to more than 100 different articles on the subject. Some of the highlights of the last decade included:
Chris Carlisle authored the first Strength Report while the coach at USC. • He now has the same position with the Seattle Seahawks.
Detailed Strength Reports from two NFL Coaches - Detroit’s Ted Rath and • New Orleans’ Dan Dalrymple.
Auburn’s Joe Yoxall wrote a detailed article on the Tigers off-season • training program.
Ron McKeefery, at the time the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the • University of South Florida, wrote a yearly series of articles, many of which were position-specific.
Louisville’s Joe Kern wrote an article for high school coaches and athletes • entitled, “Preparing Athletes for a College and NFL Strength and Conditioning Program.”
Mike Gerber, then the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Nevada, • wrote an article entitled ”The 10 Most Common Errors Within a Strength and Conditioning Program.”
Our most recent Strength Report includes changes in the game. More specifically, the staff at San Jose State University wrote, “Conditioning for an Aggressive, Up-Tempo Offensive System.” With many schools now using the up-tempo offense, it makes sense.
All AFM subscribers have complete online access via our website – www.AmericanFootballMonthly.com – to all of these articles.
Managing Editor - American Football Monthly