Headed by Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning Jeff Madden the University of Texas employed 12 full-time strength and conditioning personnel during the 2011-2012 academic year and an additional 16 graduate assistants and volunteers. This large number is necessary because in the 21st century every Texas varsity athlete, more than 500 men, and women, engage in year-round strength and conditioning workouts under the leadership of these professionals. When Roy James McLean entered the university almost one hundred years ago in 1913, the idea of a strength coach in sport was unheard of. McLean would prove to be a visionary about resistance exercise, and well before most American universities owned a barbell set, Texas was teaching physical education classes in weight training and had varsity athletes lifting weights as well.
This on-line exhibition, based on interviews primarily done during 2010 and 2011, celebrates Texas’ role as a leader and pioneer in the field of strength and conditioning for sport. Using photographs, video interviews, and printed records, this exhibition traces the evolution of strength and conditioning from McLean’s early work in the 1920s through the Darrell K. Royal years of the 1950s and 1960s, the role of Charles Craven in the late 1960s and 1970s, the first official UT strength coach Dana LaDuc, and the men who followed LaDuc in the modern era: Rock Gullickson, Bennie Wylie, and the current Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning, Jeff Madden. We’d like to thank everyone who participated in this project and who so graciously gave time from their busy schedules to take part in our interviews. The work you have done has fundamentally changed athletic performance, as well as and our expectations of what is humanly possible. We are deeply grateful to all of you.