Navy opened official preparations for the 2013 season on Tuesday with head coach Ken Niumatalolo looking to the past. The Midshipmen had managed to win, with four winning seasons in his five years as head coach, despite an undersized strength department.
"In the past we've had one full-time coach for the biggest team on the yard," he said. "We've had Coach Brass for 170, 150 guys."
Navy strength coach Mike Brass received help from Kirk Woolfolk and Clifford Dooman but it was only that, help. Each coach was responsible for two teams of his own, which meant football had to go to the back-burner. Enter Bryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Schuler, each a dedicated full-time assistant strength coach for football.
Niumatalolo went academic to describe how the additional staff has helped his players.
"You can go in a lecture hall of 300 with one professor, or you can be in a class of 25 where one person is able to talk," said Niumatalolo. "It's a more conducive way of learning. You can pay more attention to a guy as opposed to trying to watch what everybody does."
Now that the Midshipmen are back on the field, Niumatalolo has already seen how that individual instruction has benefited the program.
"It's allowed us to spread people out," he said. "We've been able to do some speed work, things we haven't been able to do in the past. I just think it's been a tremendous addition...I think we're in the best shape we've been in since I've been here."