Curtis Named Strength Coach for Hoops

John Beilein and Kevin Borseth announce the hiring of former Memphis Grizzlies strength coach Mike Curtis as the new head of strength & conditioning for the Wolverines' programs.

(Michigan Athletic Dept. Press Release)

September 2, 2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's and women's basketball coaches, John Beilein and Kevin Borseth, announced today (Tuesday, Sept. 2) the hiring of Mike Curtis as the new strength and conditioning coach for the Wolverines programs. Curtis comes to Michigan after spending the last six years with the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies as the strength and conditioning coach.

"I don't know if I can put into words the feeling of being here on this campus and having the opportunity to be a part of the Michigan family," said Curtis. "I'm really looking forward to helping Coach Beilein and Coach Borseth build their programs and put a winner out on the court each and every night."

"We are fortunate to have added one of the most proven and knowledgeable performance specialists in the country here at U-M," said Beilein. "His background as both a former player and strength and conditioning coach in college basketball is hard to find. His six years in the NBA, working with professional basketball players gives him a perspective on the new wave of strength and functional training that we believe will be so vital to our program. I am confident our student athletes are going to love and really benefit from what Mike Curtis will do to enhance their physical development and future performances."

"We are very lucky to have someone with his credentials work with our program," said Borseth. "His basketball background combined with his strength and conditioning approach and philosophy will benefit our program. His attention to detail will be a great approach for our kids."

In his role with Memphis, Curtis oversaw the off-court conditioning of the Grizzlies, enhancing their performance through exercises in flexibility, strength, speed and power, while assisting the athletic training staff with the rehabilitation of injuries.

Before his work with the Grizzlies, Curtis was the basketball strength coach for the University of South Carolina (2001-02), and prior to that, the University of Dayton (2000-01) where he worked with the Olympic sports teams.

Curtis earned his bachelor's degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia in 1998 and his master's in Exercise Physiology in 2000. He is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is a member of National Strength and Conditioning Association. He holds certifications as a USAW Club Coach, a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is a certified Strength and Conditioning Coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.

As a player, Curtis was a four-year letterman during his collegiate days at the University of Virginia. He was named to the ACC Honor Roll in his last three years. In 1998, he was also named as an Arthur Ashe Scholar-Athlete Award winner.

Mike Curtis Q&A ...

* On leaving the NBA to come back to the collegiate ranks ... "I missed the opportunity to have an effect on young men and young women's lives; you don't get that opportunity as much in the NBA. I wanted to have the chance to spend four years with student-athletes and watch them grow and mature, physically, mentally and socially. That was one of the big reasons why I came back to the collegiate ranks and I didn't think there was a better place to be than Michigan to be a part of that process."

* On differences between pro and college training methods ... "There will be certain things that do differ. But at the heart of it, I'm going to try to make each one of our student-athletes better athletes so that we can enhance their performance by increasing their ability to move more efficiently, while at the same time allowing them to produce more force in the right direction and play the game faster and more explosively, giving them a physiological advantage over the people they will play against night in and night out in the Big Ten."

* On his training philosophy ... "My philosophy is based on analysis of the game. So I look at the movements of the game and primarily we are going to train those movements and try to make our athletes more efficient at those movements that are inherit to the game and hopefully that translates into more forceful, more powerful Michigan athletes."

* On the benefits of having played the game ... "I definitely have an eye for basketball and basketball movement. I have the ability to look at the game and think it a little bit better than someone who may not have had to go through the day in and day out grind of practices and games as a player. My experience as a player has allowed me to look a little bit deeper into the game and understand movement more specifically because I have had to do it. I think that gives me a little bit of an advantage when it comes to training these athletes to become better basketball players."

* On the basis for his training methods ... "I'm big on continuing education, so every year there will be something new that we bring to the table to help our student-athletes become better athletes. Science is the foundation of my training principles and it will continue to be, so as science advances our training will advance."

* On his knowledge of the Michigan basketball program's ... "I'm familiar with Coach Beilein, I met him a few years back and I'm familiar with him. I'm not as familiar with Coach Borseth but I look forward to developing that relationship with him. Everything has happened very quickly so I haven't had quite the opportunity to grasp everything that I need to grasp in terms of the history of these programs, but I'm in the process of doing that right now and I think that is going to help me develop these programs for us."

* On his first impressions of Michigan ... "It already feels pretty amazing. The interview process, stepping on campus, meeting Coach Beilein and meeting Coach Borseth, I felt like I was 18 years old again going through the recruiting process. I've had nothing but chills and butterflies in my stomach because this is a special place and I'm finding that out each hour that I've been here. The architecture, the culture, the love people have for the Maize and Blue, it's unreal and I'm excited to be part of that and hopefully I can contribute something positive to that culture."

* On the facilities at Crisler Arena ... "I think it's good. I was surprised that they had done such a good job with making the space as functional as it is now, but it's a work in progress and we will continue to make those facilities better and I look forward to that. I think there will be a few changes; there will be some things we need to put in there (the weight room) to help us become better athletes."

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