Aggies hire strength and conditioning coach

Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman continued to assemble his staff on Thursday, naming Dave Kennedy to head up the Texas A&M football strength program. Aggie Websider has the latest on candidates for other coaching positions in "The Tailgate."

COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Dave Kennedy, considered by many to be one of the top strength coaches in the country, has been hired to head up the Texas A&M football strength program, Aggie football coach Mike Sherman announced today.

"Dave comes to A&M with a wealth of experience," Sherman said. "It has always amazed me while in the NFL, how many players who were coached by Dave in college wanted to go train with him no matter where he was. He is a very well respected coach."

"Over his tenure at Ohio State, I know he turned down numerous NFL jobs," Sherman added. "New England head coach Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli (vice president for player personnel for the Patriots) think Dave is the best at what he does, as do I."

"Dave is a great teacher and is passionate at what he does," Sherman stated. "He will challenge our players on a daily basis to be the best they can be."

Kennedy comes to Texas A&M from the University of Nebraska where he served as the head strength coach from 2004 through the 2007 season.

"There are several things that excite me about coming to Texas A&M," Kennedy said. "The opportunity to work with Coach Sherman, the ability to win at a high level, the traditions and a place I feel is great for raising my family."

Kennedy got his start in the strength and conditioning area in 1982 as a student assistant at Nebraska under the direction of strength coach Boyd Epley. Kennedy graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in strength coaching and served as an assistant on the Husker staff from 1986 through 1988.

He was hired as the head strength coach at Ohio State University prior to the 1989 season and stayed in that capacity through 2001. Working with the likes of Eddie George, Orlando Pace, Joey Galloway, Dan Wilkinson, David Boston, Andy Katzenmoyer, Shawn Springs, Robert Smith and Mike Vrabel, the Buckeye players earned 21 All-America citations while also bringing home honors such as the Biletnikoff, Butkus, Lombardi, Outland, Thorpe and Heisman Trophies. On his watch, 17 Buckeyes went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

Kennedy spent 13 years at Ohio State and one of his biggest fans is current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

"The strength coach position is crucial in this day and time," Herbstreit said. "They get to spend more time with the players than anyone else on the staff. The discipline and dedication needed on the playing field is established in the weight room. Dave is one of the very best and brightest strength coaches in the country."

Kennedy received Ohio State's Admiral's Trophy prior to the 1993 Holiday Bowl. The Admiral's Trophy is voted upon by the players and goes to the person whose dedication, hard work and spirit most inspired the team.

Prior to the 2002 season, Kennedy joined Walt Harris' staff at the University of Pittsburgh where he helped develop wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a Heisman Trophy runnerup, and the 2003 Walter Camp and Biletnikoff awards.

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