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In order to add depth to the History And Evolution Of Conditioning And Weight Lifting for the Longhorns , some content and photos from the Stark Center site are used on the TLSN site.  

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UT hires Frank “Little” Crawford who played under Yale’s legendary football coach Walter Camp.  At Texas Crawford incorporates several forms of physical conditioning along with the standard passing and blocking plays in his workouts. Crawford’s fitness program works. The Longhorns finish 5-0 winning their games by a combined score of 88-0. It is the only perfect season (no losses and no opposing team scores) in the history of Texas football.


  1919 - 1967 Roy McClean 

Roy McClean,  Lutcher Stark, and Theo Bellmont are convinced that weight lifting can enhance the skills of athletes.   McLean uses the techniques suggested in the Milo weight training program  to add thirty pounds of muscle to his thin frame, and Lutcher Stark uses barbells to drop his weight

from 220 pounds of fat to 180 pounds of muscle.



He also coached the successful cross country team in the  30's .




In 1919 McLean uses his two Milo barbells and some dumbbells to start the first class in weight training.  He breaks  all the traditional rules of sports training. Most coaches believe that lifting weight will make the athletes muscle bound, but they were proven wrong.   The eleven male students in McLean's class  had more muscle mass and could jump higher and run faster than before the classes started. Weight training arrives, additional courses are added, and more Milo barbells are ordered. 

By 1929 demand is so great that a special weight room was added to Gregory Gym to accommodate the  classes.  When McLean retires in 1967 , the men’s physical training program enrollment includes 22 classes with 25 to 30 students each. 


1978- 1992 Dana LeDuc


Dana LeDuc

  • 1976- NCAA Shot Put Champion

  • Southwest Conference Championship Titles In The Shot Put In  1974, 1975, And 1976

  • HOH inductee In 1997   

Leduc is initially hired as an assistant to Charle Craven. However Craven convinces DKR that UT needs a full time strength coach and he recommends LeDuc for the job.  

Dana LeDuc is the first person at UT to hold the official title as "head strength coach".

LeDuc states, "I really believe there is no type of athlete that weight training and strength work can't help."  LeDuc believes in  utilizing strength and flexibility exercises to combat joint injuries.  

LeDuc's coaching philosophy is  based around strength development as a means to increase on-field performance for football players. He allows athletes to transition into more power and sport specific movements once a standard level of strength is attained. 

LeDuc also believes that athletes  conditioning will improve by use of  "quick bursts of speed over shorter distances" compared to the "lap after lap" of long-distance runs.  He also adds Olympic weight lifting techniques to mirror the physiological demands of football.

LeDuc left Texas in 1992 after accepting a job as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Miami. 


1993-1997  Roger Gullickson is hired by John Mackovich as head strength and conditioning coach

Gullickson joined the University of Texas staff as a strength and conditioning coach in 1993.

Gullickson's believed that player competition in the weight room wold  lead to success. He is right. The players get stronger and Coach Mackovic is pleased. He says  "Rock has put a program in place that is goal oriented and helps to build success for players off the field.  The progress our team has made in the past twelve months has been dramatic."

After Texas Gullickson's joins New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and the St. Louis Rams as the strength and conditioning coach.


Weight lifting, strength, and Superior vertical leap does not always translate into team wins.  In team sports strength and conditioning are adjuncts but not the catalyst to winning. In 1995 Texas had 10 football players squat over 550 pounds and 15 players recorded a vertical jump of 32 inches or more. Texas won loss record that year was  10-2-1.  In 1997 Texas had 15 players squat more than 550 pounds and 21 players jumped 32 inches or higher. Texas record was 4 -7.  

Of course in contemporary times weight training and conditioning are needed to prepare individual athletes for competition, but a team composed of individuals that are stronger and jump higher than the competition is still only one factor of many needed in a winning formula. 

The formula for winning in team sports requires great recruiting, a competent coaching staff, players,  inherent trust in the system, team chemistry, a strong work ethic, and a little luck. If a team does not have these qualities then strength and conditioning will not create a winner. Several of the teams in the 60's had the qualities mentioned above. 7 teams from 1961-1970 had a combined record of  77-5-2 and three national champions with a won loss record of 32-1 record. Vertical leap and strength did not win those games.   


  1998- Assistant Athletics Director for Strength and Conditioning Jeff"Mad Dog" Madden



John Madden follows Mack Brown from  North Carolina to Texas in 1998.  He has been selected as four-time National Strength Coach of the Year.

Madden's first job at Texas is to re-design the Nasser Al-Rashid weight room.  Like LeDuc He  emphasizes speed and explosive power rather than only brute strength.  He combines flexibility and  Olympic lifting techniques to enhance the players performance. 

His  program has immediate success.  From 1998 to 1999 there is a significant improvement in the football players vertical leap, bench press, and squats.  Brian Orakpo is a great example of Madd Dog's success. Brian is transformed from 207 pound skinny freshman to a 264 pound NFL first round draft pick bench pressing 525 lbs.  

According to Madden, “strength training is transforming boys to men and getting them tougher and preparing them for competition.”  Mental and physical training are both needed for football.  Madden said  “allowing kids to get stronger [helps] them gain confidence—and confidence produces winners.”


2011- ????    Bennie Wyle is Head strength and conditioning coach 



In January of 2011, Wylie replaces Jeff Madden.  He has a “hard-nosed work,” ethic and participates with the players in weight lifting and conditioning workouts.  As a philosophy, Wylie believes that participating  allows him to fully experience what the athlete endures on a daily basis during the off-season.  Wylie believes in game like setting high intensity weight room sessions to prepare the athletes for a game.  


Donnie Maib

Donnie Maib decided to refocus his dedication and passion away from football after he suffered a career-ending knee injury during the spring football game for the University of Georgia in 1992.  (more content needed)


1999 to present Sandy Abney has been strength and conditioning coach 

Abney earneda scholarship in 1993 to become a heptathlete for Southwest Texas State University, (now Texas State University), where she also competed in Olympic weightlifting. After finishing her collegiate track and field career, Abney focus's on movements in Olympic weight lifting.

In the midst of her training in 1999, Abney is hired as a strength and conditioning coach for the University of Texas.  Athletes relate  to her coaching style because of her knowledge and past experience.  Abney says that being a strength coach is "like an art". Her goal is  to help athletes  “manipulate the body to perform a certain way in order to optimize performance and get the athletes to adapt their abilities.” 

Abney  focus's her expertise  on the Texas softball, rowing, and women’s swim teams.   These  teams have competed  for twelve national championships, won more than twelve Big 12 Conference Championships and produced eight Olympians.  


2004  Lance Sewell 

Lance is hired as an assistant strength coach at the University of Texas. Coach Madden is the head strength coach. 

For the first four years of his tenure, Lance assist Coach Madden. His primary responsibility is baseball, softball, women’s golf, cheer, and pom. 

As a strength coach, Sewell’s philosophy consists of improving athletic performance through sport specific exercises that supplement injury preventive movements.  Sewell trains athletes on their feet because “most sport is played standing,” which allows for a more functional athletic environment. 

1995 Trey Zepeda Interns with UT and is hired in 1997 as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. 

Trey's primary responsibility include men’s track and field, men’s golf, and men’s swimming. He focus' on teaching the athletes what a lift is and how those movements apply differently to the body and finding the strength and weaknesses of his athletes.  Once he has determined each athlete’s specific weakness, Zepeda uses his experience in Olympic and power lifting, as well as his functional movement science knowledge, to enhance performance and adjust movement discrepancies for each athlete.  




Todd Wright - 1998

Todd Wright has been part of the strength and conditioning staff at the University of Texas at Austin since 1998. Wright followed Coach Barnes to the University of Texas as the head of strength and conditioning for men’s basketball.  His training technique develops the natural physical talents of his players through the use of sport specific techniques of conditioning.

Wright is known for the “Vertical Core Training System,”. This system is especially productive for basketball players, but it is really a "sport specific".  This process is used to improve the power and flexibility of the muscles used  in his or her chosen sport.   Wright says “The will to win means nothing without the will to train.” 


Lee McCormick 2002-2006; 2008 to

In 2002 He was hired as an assistant at The University of Texas and worked with football, basketball, softball and baseball over the next four years.  While in Austin, he also worked some with boxers and an AAU basketball team that led to an invitation to join the Spurs organization in San Antonio in 2006.  

In 2008, however, McCormick received a phone call from Jeff Madden that changed his career once again.  Madden invited McCormick to return and rejoin the staff at Texas.  

Since returning to Texas, McCormick has assisted with football and track....   








2004  Lance Sewell 

Lance was hired as an assistant strength coach at the University of Texas. Coach Madden is the head strength coach. 

For the first four years of his tenure, he was able to assist Coach Madden. Throughout his time at Texas, he has focused on baseball, softball, women’s golf, cheer and pom. 

As a strength coach, Sewell’s philosophy consists of improving athletic performance through sport specific exercises that supplement injury preventive movements.  Sewell trains athletes on their feet because “most sport is played standing,” which allows for a more functional athletic environment. 






2011 Shaun McPherson

Shaun joined Texas in 2011 and is presently the assistant strength & Conditioning Coach for women's basketball.  He is one of the reasons for the successful Baylor women's basketball program, and is a major reason for the success of the 2015-2016 basketball team. Shaun also administered the strength and conditioning in track and Field, Tennis, baseball and football at Baylor.  

Former Texas standout Edwina Brown (1996-2000)  joined the Longhorns staff as strength and conditioning assistant coach for Women's Basketball.

"We are so happy to have Edwina on staff," Goestenkors said. "She will bring her mental and physical toughness, along with her vast knowledge of the game, to our program. `Wink' knows what it takes to be the very best player in the country and she will be a vital asset to the future of Texas Women's Basketball."




Basketball weight room





Rowing Work-out










Eating Right



Page Elizabeth Bauerkemper in her 2013 report titled Beyond Sports: A Guidebook for Potential Collegiate Female Student -Athletes  states that "female student-athletes are at risk for developing disorder eating patterns.........."  "most estimates fall between 14 and 27 percent " .  Men have the same issues with eating disorders ,but there is no data to quantify the severity of the problem. Regardless, the University of Texas dietitians understand the issue and are "diet active" in reducing the disorder.   

The key to success for healthy nutrition  is the responsibility of the student-athlete. "Nutritionist, strength, and condition trainers can offer eating guidelines, but it the athlete who  makes the final decision on food intake. Unfortunately, many athletes choose not to comply with the food regimen. 



Eating Right