The Good Sheppard

Gene Chizik "strengthened" his coaching staff today by naming another former Longhorn, Kenneth Sheppard, as Iowa State's new strength and conditioning coach. Over the course of his career Sheppard has mentored several NFL players, including current offensive rookie of the year Vince Young (pictured).

Kenneth Sheppard, most recently an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Texas, has been hired as Iowa State's head strength and conditioning coach, ISU head football coach Gene Chizik announced Tuesday. Torre Becton, an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Baylor will fill a similar role under Sheppard.

"Texas and North Carolina have sent a long list of players to the National Football League under head coach Mack Brown and Ken Sheppard has had a major impact on the development of those individuals," Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik said. "He has been the No. 1 assistant strength coach on ACC championship, Big 12 championship and national championship teams.  Ken has turned down a lot of opportunities before accepting this position.  Obviously, I'm really excited that he is now a Cyclone."

Sheppard has been a strength and conditioning coach at Texas for the past nine seasons. He supervised Longhorn daily strength facility activities and implemented training programs for individual student-athletes. He also supervised nutrition plans for Texas athletes.

While at Texas, Sheppard directed the Mack Brown/Jeff Madden Texas Speed and Explosive Power Camp, one of the largest of its kind in the United States. He developed and organized the camp's daily activities.  The 1985 graduate of North Carolina Central (criminal justice) was the camp's primary administrator and developed curriculum for beginning strength coaches.

"I am grateful to coach Chizik for this opportunity," Sheppard said. "I'm looking forward to working at a Big 12 school with a great reputation like Iowa State University. To be able to coach with Gene Chizik and do so at a school like ISU is a tremendous opportunity."

Prior to heading to Austin, Texas, Sheppard served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at North Carolina for five seasons. At UNC he designed and implemented strength and conditioning plans in an athletics program that boasted 29 sports and more than 800 student-athletes.  He worked with former Iowa State assistant coach and current Texas head coach Mack Brown at both schools.  The Longhorns have been to a bowl game in every year of Sheppard's service and earned the collegiate football national championship in 2005.

Becton has assisted with the implementation of speed, strength, agility and conditioning programs in Baylor's speed, strength and explosive training department over the past four seasons. He also helped coordinate strength and conditioning programs for other varsity sports and educated Baylor student-athletes on nutrition strategies. At Baylor, Becton worked with 2004 Olympic 400-meter gold medalist Jeremy Wariner and with Darold Williamson, who joined Wariner on the winning Olympic 4 x 400-meter relay in Athens. Both are Drake Relays champions.

"Torre Becton is an up and coming man in his field who has coached NFL players and Olympic gold medal sprinters," Chizik said. "In Ken and Torre, Iowa State has proven coaches who despite their youth have very impressive resumes.  The fact that they are both very familiar with the Big 12 Conference makes them an even better fit for our football program."

Becton is a 2000 graduate of North Carolina A&T State (health and physical education and fitness management), where he was a four-year letterman in football. In January 2001, Becton became an assistant strength coach at his alma mater, working with all varsity sports.

After leaving his native state of North Carolina in July 2002, Becton served as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at Oklahoma State, where he worked with the football, track & field and cross country.

The current list of NFL players Sheppard helped to strength and condition while they were in college includes: Cedric Benson, Dre Bly, Alge Crumpler, Leonard Davis, Greg Ellis, Cedric Griffin, William Henderson, Vonnie Holiday, Quentin Jammer, Derrick Johnson, Cory Redding, Shaun Rogers, Chris Simms, Nathan Vasher, Roy Williams, and Vince Young.  

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