Yet another former Louisiana Tech coaching staff member joined Sonny Dykes and Co., in Berkeley officially on Wednesday, with the announcement by California Athletic Director Sandy Barbour that Damon Harrington has joined Cal as the football head strength and conditioning coach. Harrington will work directly with the Cal football program on a day-to-basis and oversee three assistant strength and conditioning coaches in his role.
The former head of football strength and conditioning -- Mike Blasquez -- remains in his other position as the athletic department's overall head of strength and conditioning, to whom Harrington will report.
"We have restructured our strength and conditioning department to better serve the needs of our entire student-athlete population," Barbour said. "The addition of Damon will add to an already excellent and experienced staff that will take both our entire strength and conditioning program as well as our specific operation for football to new heights."
Dykes – who also brought Mark Tommerdahl, Tony Franklin, Pierre Ingram, Rob Likens and Zach Yenser from his Louisiana Tech staff, said that the program "got better ... today."
"We added more expertise with both Mike's move and Damon's addition," Dykes continued. "We're very excited about the future and both guys are excited to work with each other.
"I appreciate the job Mike did working with our team in his previous role under some tough circumstances," Dykes added. "I look forward to utilizing his expertise in the future and having him continue to work with our football program. I'm also excited to welcome Damon to our staff and very comfortable with his ability to make our players stronger, faster and tougher to make us a better team. Damon brings a tremendous amount of experience in training players in a fast-paced program like we have here at Cal, and he will continue to instill the discipline and toughness in our players that are the cornerstones of a successful football program."
Harrington had two stints as the head strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater Louisiana Tech, serving in the role since January of 2006 and also from 2002-03 after spending two previous seasons as an assistant in the program (2000-01). He was also the assistant director of player development at Georgia Tech from 2004-05.
"I'm extremely excited to be part of a program the caliber of Cal and look forward to the challenge of competing in the Pac-12," Harrington said. "I am truly humbled and blessed with this opportunity and am committed to helping these players perform at the highest level."
Harrington was instrumental in improving Louisiana Tech's strength and conditioning program, with Bulldog football players breaking 26 strength records (by position) during his final seven years with the school. During the same period, Louisiana Tech had seven fourth-quarter come-from-behind wins.
During his time at Louisiana Tech, Harrington and his staff implemented the Dawg Fight Program, which focused on several key attributes: attitude, team, discipline, toughness and effort. The program was designed to prepare the team's players to be as physically and mentally tough as possible in order to play hard for four quarters and make the plays at the end of games that ultimately lead to victory.
Harrington began his collegiate playing career at Louisiana Tech as a walk-on in 1995 before earning a scholarship his sophomore season. He started every game at linebacker during his final two campaigns with 121 stops in 1998 and 122 in 1999. Harrington earned All-Louisiana honors both seasons, while also being named to the All-Independent team by Football News as a senior in 1999.
Harrington earned his bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech in fitness and wellness in 2000 and completed his master's degree from the school in sports science in 2002. Harrington holds certifications in strength and conditioning from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa).
Harrington Replaces Blasquez
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