McKeefrey's job goes way beyond weight room

It was easy to see why Tennessee's new strength and conditioning coach Ron McKeefery has made a positive impact on the UT Football team in just eight weeks. Go "Inside" to find out more about the Vols new Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.

It was easy to see why Tennessee's new strength and conditioning coach Ron McKeefery has made a positive impact on the UT Football team in just eight weeks.

He met the Tennessee media entourage for the first time here Thursday morning, he walked up to each media member, shook their hand and introduced himself to each person in attendance.

After he concluded his twenty minutes of answering questions, he again walked around and thanked each media member by shaking their hand again.

First impressions are important, it's apparent it's important to him as well.

"Yes winning is important, but in my job I will measure how much difference I have made in a young man's life by how many of their weddings I'm invited to," McKeefrey said. "It's about being someone they can talk to about anything. It's about letting them know that I'm keeping them accountable, but I want them to keep me accountable to them as well."

Accountability and able to count on being there for them, is probably more important to this Tennessee team now, more than ever.

They have had five head strength coaches in less than 24 months, the trust factor is probably going to take some time to achieve.

Getting the team to buy in and to believe in him, appears to be very important to McKeefrey.

"I have spent my entire career working for a job like the one I have here at the University of Tennessee," McKeefrey said. "To me there isn't a better job out there to have."

It was apparent that McKeefrey was happy and excited to be at Rocky Top. The veteran strength coach pointed out that he spent 11 years at South Florida, he likes staying and accomplishing big things.

"We will have the very best facility in the country, second to no one, when our new facility is finished, I haven't seen any that's better," McKeefrey said. "This team is hungry, they want to learn, they want to be winners. They have seen it can be done here, just look around the place and see all the banners. It's our goal to hang a few banners ourselves."

Bigger, faster, stronger is always important to any football team.

McKeefrey wants to do that and more.

"My job is beyond the weight room," McKeefrey stated. "I want them to know I care about them personally, I want to make a difference in their lives in a lot of different ways."

Don't kid yourself if you don't think that McKeefrey doesn't stress the strength part of the job as well.

"Everything we do has a specific purpose," McKeefrey said. "I don't know if they realized that eight weeks ago, they do now. We have two main goals. To keep them on the field and to keep them healthy."

McKeefrey stressed that he is working hard with the team to increase their performance factors which are speed, strength, balance, power, coordination and skill development.

"In eight weeks we have had guys that have already added 25 pounds to their bench press and 50 pounds to their squats," McKeefrey said. "We are faster than we were when I first got here. We work a lot on getting faster and quicker in everything we do. We were a very fast and explosive team at South Florida."

The former Black Ops trainer continued to stress that he loves the fact that Derek Dooley stresses character on this team.

"That's more important than a lot of people realize," McKeefrey said. "I want to be a guy the entire team can look to for help in any area."

McKeefrey and his wife have three adopted children and he has his younger brother living with his family.

"Family is very important to me," McKeefrey said. "Being a Vol for life is very important to me. I plan on being here for a long time. My kids are going to school, I don't plan on going anywhere."


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