Strength And Conditioning, From Mike Gentry To Ben Hilgart: Part 3

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Virginia Tech, Ben Hilgart
Ben Hilgart (Jon Fleming)

I’ll admit I was disappointed when Mike Gentry left. Not that he had anything left to prove. Instead, I thought he’d appreciate and be energized by the opportunity to work with a new style of football coach. That wasn’t to be, though. I did have in mind a type of coach I wanted to see hired. I didn’t want a coach who’d made his name working with rosters full of NFL pros, and I didn’t want a coach who was sticking to tried and true methods. Given how the entire football program had stumbled in recent years, I thought it’d be worth the gamble to hire someone who was outside the norm and maybe could help Tech pull ahead (again) of other teams on the S&C front.

I had in mind a guy like Cal Dietz at Minnesota (whose Triphasic Training uniquely focuses primarily on sequentially developing isometric, eccentric, and concentric strength), Bryan Mann (at Missouri at the time, who specializes in training based on rate of force development), or James Smith (a consultant now with lots of team experience whose training is a deep dive into Eastern Block techniques.) It even crossed my mind that going all-in on “speed kills” with a track guy like Carl Valle might be appropriate.

When Hilgart was announced, I was scratching my head. When