UF hires strength coach
Published: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 3:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 3:31 p.m.
In keeping with the pro approach to his football program, Florida coach Will Muschamp has hired a new strength and conditioning coordinator with all kinds of experience working with professional athletes, and not just NFL players.
In his three years as the head of physical conditioning at the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Jeff Dillman has overseen the training of many pro athletes, including NFL players Cam Newton, Christian Ponder and Randall Cobb, tennis star Maria Sharapova, baseball slugger Joey Votto and NBA players Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Michael Beasley.
In a move that has been anticipated for more than a week now, the 35-year-old Dillman was named the Gators' new strength and conditioning coordinator Tuesday. He will oversee the entire UF strength and conditioning staff.
"I'm excited to have Jeff join our staff. He is a perfect fit for what we were looking for," Muschamp said. "He has trained athletes at the highest caliber on every level — from high school, to college to the NFL. Jeff knows what physical and mental tools are needed to be successful and has a developmental plan to make every player better. He has a championship pedigree and his results speak for themselves.
“He will be the catalyst for kick-starting our off-season program with the No. 1 goal of making our football program a tougher program. We will be a blue-collar program built with toughness and Jeff is the man to lead that charge."
Dillman has a connection with Muschamp. The two were on the same coaching staff at LSU under Nick Saban for two years (2003-04) and helped the Tigers win the national championship in 2003. Muschamp was the defensive coordinator, while Dillman was an assistant on the strength staff.
Dillman also was the strength and conditioning coordinator at Appalachian State in 2006-07.
"I'm honored to be joining the prestigious University of Florida Athletic Department and look forward to working in concert with the strength and conditioning staff and the student athletes for all 21 sports," Dilllman said. "I'm excited to reunite with coach Muschamp as he continues to build a championship program in Gainesville. We share many basic philosophies — starting with mental and physical toughness.
“I'm a big believer in doing the little things right. Every day we will calculate the right attitude for training. Nothing gets in the way of our goal to be the best that we can be. We will always fight and finish strong — on the field, in the weight room, in the classroom and in life. Hard work beats talent when talent's not working."
As the Head of Physical Conditioning at IMG Academies, Dillman oversaw the strength and conditioning programs for all youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes who trained at the Academy.
Dillman comes to UF with a strong endorsement from his former boss, Trevor Moawad, the director of performance at IMG Academies.
"Jeff Dillman is an exceptional coach who possesses the rare qualities to transmit crucial information and truly inspire athletes to perform at their best," Moawad said. "He has a broad knowledge base across a variety of sports. Jeff did a fantastic job for us at the IMG Performance Institute working with junior, adult and professional athletes. Coach Muschamp and the Gator Nation have added an elite talent to their program."
With a new strength coach on board, Muschamp now can concentrate on his search for a new offensive coordinator.
Muschamp said after Monday's Gator Bowl victory that there still is no timetable to hire a replacement for Charlie Weis, who left to become the head coach at Kansas.
“I'm trying to work through that and make the best decision for Florida,” he said.
On Sunday night, it appeared that New York Jets' offensive coordinator (and former UF quarterback) Brian Schottenheimer was emerging as a strong, and possibly leading, candidate.
But there were reports out of Jacksonville on Monday that the Jacksonville Jaguars intend to interview Schottenheimer for the team's head coaching vacancy, possibly as soon as this week.
Others who have emerged as potential top contenders for the job are UF running backs coach Brian White (the interim coordinator for the bowl game), JU coach (and former UF quarterback) Kerwin Bell, Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease and Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.