Ben Hilgart to Lead Virginia Tech Strength and Conditioning

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Ben Hilgart
Ben Hilgart, shown here at New Mexico in April 2015 (photo via UNM Communications Flickr)

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech announced the hiring of Ben Hilgart as Associate Athletics Director for Strength and Conditioning. Hilgart will oversee all aspects of performance training for varsity sports at Virginia Tech and will work directly with head coach Justin Fuente and the football program.

“Ben will be a key member of our team at Virginia Tech,” Fuente said. “Mike Gentry and his staff established a great standard for strength and conditioning at Virginia Tech and Ben will help set our expectations as he pushes our student-athletes to reach their full potential.”

In his prior 14 seasons working in the profession, Hilgart has trained a total of 32 NFL players that came from the University of New Mexico, Arizona State, Ohio State and UTEP. In his seven years with the Sun Devils, ten football players earned first team all-conference recognition, which includes working with consensus All-America tight end Zach Miller in 2006.

Highly regarded by his peers across the country and in the football community, Hilgart spent the last four seasons at New Mexico, the last two as the Director of Athletic Performance. He was in charge of the entire Athletic Performance initiative for the Lobos, which included all phases of strength, conditioning, rehabilitation and injury prevention. He was also responsible for a redesign of the Athletic Performance Center, revamping UNM’s area into one of the top performance centers in the West.

Prior to working at New Mexico, Hilgart spent seven years at Arizona State, which included the final four seasons as the Head Sports Performance Coach. He worked directly with the Sun Devils’ football program, in addition to overseeing the sports performance programs for all 20 ASU sports.

Before arriving at ASU, Hilgart spent two seasons at the Ohio State University. He started as the assistant strength and conditioning coach before being promoted to associate strength and conditioning coach. Hilgart also spent two years at UTEP as the graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach. He served as the head strength coach and assistant defensive line coach at his alma mater, Western Illinois, in 2001.

Hilgart was a two-year letterman at Western Illinois, earning his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. He earned his master’s degree in Kinesiology from UTEP in 2003. Hilgart has also served as the head strength coach at Deer Valley High School in Glendale, Arizona.


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21 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. My only expectation from this is to see general physical performance go up and injuries go down.

    We can measure physical performance through annual strength & conditioning results, and performance on the field – likely any noticeable 4th quarter trends- up or down?

    We can measure number of injuries occurred, year to year- especially with repetition injuries which often result from inadequate preparation, and also over-training. Again, all generalizations, but VT should known within a year how this hire worked out.

  2. Goodness, I think I will thank our AD and Head Coach for getting a Known and Respected person to fill Gentry’s job. I see So Many here Know Nothing about the JOB or Who is what in that field of Work, so Thank You Coach and Whit. Since You will bring the Best to VT..

  3. Nice “Back to the Future” photo of Coach Hilgart, “…shown here at New Mexico in April 2016 “.

  4. Western Illinois connection….

    I sometimes wonder when people only hire folks they worked with in the past. Could be good, could be bad but I know there are some people I have worked with in the past that I would never hire.

    1. And perhaps some/most/all of the other people from Western Illinois who have worked with the new coaches and who aren’t on this staff fall into the category of “people I have worked with in the past that I would never hire”. We are only seeing the ones that Fuente DOES want to work with. If they are otherwise qualified for the position, then having personal experience with them is a bonus.

      The flip side of hiring “strangers” is that you only know what you learn from an interview, resume, or what other people think of them.

      1. I agree – for me it is only “something to keep an eye on”.

        There is also a wide gulf between people that I worked closely with in the past and complete strangers.

        All these hires could be guys that are perfect fits for what coach is trying to do.

    2. Yes…and in my case, there are people i have worked with in the past I would stake my job/reputation on…MUCH more so than someone I do not know.

      It makes sense to me…and it IS Justin’s butt on the line. I’m going all in. I know how critical a good S&C coach is, and Justin HAS to be 100% comfortable with him (and ALL his coaches)

  5. Good solid Hire with respect from many in the field.
    Old enough to have the experience and wisdom – young enough to have the hunger and latest technology and methods!

  6. Yeah i’m scratching my head – not too sure if this is good or bad…or at least, not great. Would love Staff thoughts on this soon.

    1. Good numbers given the schools he has been at…
      Not SEC numbers, not ACC or B10 numbers – but good numbers!

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