Mullen Hires Court For Strength Coach Post

It didn't take Dan Mullen long to fill a sudden staff vacancy. Not even a week in fact, as Mississippi State's head coach has hired Rick Court away from Ohio State to take over as football strength and conditioning coach.

The hiring is being confirmed, though an official announcement was pending. Court's arrival is in time for Bulldog emphasis on strength work in advance of spring football practices which are tentatively scheduled to begin March 18.

Court spent the past two years as associate director for football strength and conditioning with Mullen's former boss, Urban Meyer. There is another Ohio-based connection between Mississippi State's coach and his newest staff member, as Court spent 2003-08 at Bowling Green State University. Five of those seasons he was assistant strength coach before elevation to the top position. He crossed the state for two years as director of S&C at Toledo; then crossed the country for a comparable position at San Diego State in 2011-12.

According to's Ohio State publisher Jeff Svoboda, this is a great hire by Mississippi State.

"Rick is very well-respected," said Svoboda. "When Urban Meyer was hired by Ohio State he totally revamped the strength and conditioning program and brought in an all-star staff, including Rick Court.

"Before, Ohio State had a lot of fat linemen, but the new staff gave them a totally new body look. They all look great now.

In the last four seasons Court helped train three bowl-participating teams; 2010 Toledo (Little Caesars), 2011 San Diego State (New Orleans), and Ohio State (2014 Sugar). He has 13 combined seasons in college football strength and conditioning work.

But the Grosse Point Woods, Mich., native hasn't been confined to the gridiron side of college sports. He was a catcher for Michigan State with two varsity letters, serving as team captain in 2001. There he interned one year as a S&C assistant in three sports including football. He also interned with the Detroit Tigers after 2002 graduation from the other MSU. Court holds a 2003 masters in sports administration from Eastern Kentucky.

Court and wife Molly have three children; daughter Alix, son Cade and daughter Tatum.

Court takes the place of five-year Mullen assistant Matt Balis, who came to Mississippi State with the new head coach for 2009. Besides contributing to Bulldog success on the field these five seasons, Balis was involved with planning and equipping the state-of-art weightroom at the Seal Football Complex which opened in January 2013.

Balis has taken a similar position at the University of Connecticut, where he will work for new Huskies coach Bob Diaco.

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