Hoops team welcomes new strength coach

CHAPEL HILL --- Thomas McKinney is the University of North Carolina's new strength and conditioning coordinator for men's basketball, Tar Heels head coach Matt Doherty announced today. McKinney comes to Chapel Hill from New York, N.Y., where he spent four and one-half years as the head strength and conditioning coach for intercollegiate athletics at Columbia University.

"We're excited about the addition of Thomas McKinney to our staff," says Doherty. "He brings a great deal of energy and passion to our strength and conditioning program. Coach McKinney's goals are to work with our players to help them become the best conditioned athletes possible to help North Carolina be in position to win championships each year and to develop our players so they will be best prepared to have successful NBA careers."

McKinney was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Virginia for one year. An Olympic-style weightlifter, McKinney previously resided at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. He earned a gold medal in the 1995 U.S. National Weightlifting Championships, silver medals in the 1995 Olympic Festival and the 1992 National Collegiate Championships, and bronze medals in the 1994 Olympic Festival and the American Open Championships. He also won a gold medal in the Virginia State Championships.

"Carolina basketball is a model of excellence, and I am excited to be a part of the best all-around basketball program in the country," says McKinney. "It is obvious to me that strength and conditioning is an important aspect of Coach Doherty's total student-athlete program. There is growth potential in that area, so I am excited to be part of that process."

At the University of Virginia, McKinney designed and implemented weight and conditioning programs with emphases on Olympic style movements, and worked directly with football, men's lacrosse, women's basketball and field hockey. He also was a sports psychology instructor.

McKinney competed in track and field for the Cavaliers. He earned All-ACC honors on two occasions, and holds the Virginia indoor record in the hammer. He has coached high school track and field, at Western Albemarle High School in Crozet, Va., and worked with swimming teams at the Charlottesville Youth Aquatic Club and The Swim Clinic, where he served as director.

A native of New York City who grew up in Stamford, Conn., McKinney earned a B.A. in English from Virginia in 1990, and his master's in sport psychology in 1994.

He has completed his course work toward his doctorate in sport psychology.

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