FootballScoop is proud to announce that Zac Woodfin (UAB) is the 2014 Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year presented by ProGrass.
In what proved to be a trying, tumultuous final season for UAB football, Zac Woodfin was the program's heart and soul.
First, Woodfin's primary task - physically transforming the football team. The first-year strength coach accomplished that in spades, helping the Blazers improve from 2-10 to 6-6 with a team that was much more physically competitive with its upper-echelon opponents (Mississippi State, Marshall) than in years past.
“He’s made a tremendous difference with the size of the kids. You can really tell how much bigger that we had gotten. And really comparing ourselves to (opening-weekend win) Troy, you could see the difference. We were bigger than them, and that’s not always been the case in the past,” former AD Brian Mackin told FootballScoop in September.
Woodfin uses a movement-based, holistic approach that focuses on four key pillars: mindset, movement, nutrition and recovery. He inherited a roster with between 20 and 30 injured players and slowly began morphing the roster into a different football team. "We tried to create a culture of hard work," Woodfin said. "It was all about believing we could win championships, and we stated that goal daily."
Woodfin insisted on sharing credit with his staff. "It's very humbling," he said. "It's a compliment to our assistants and staff. This is very much a staff award in my opinion."
"Zac played for me in high school and I knew back then I wanted him to work for me," said former UAB head coach Bill Clark. "He's as good a person as he is a strength coach."
A native of Prattville, Ala., Woodfin played linebacker at UAB before spending time with the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans, as well as NFL Europe. He broke into the strength industry as a volunteer at Alabama and UAB, and then spent four years working with Athletes Performance in Los Angeles. He then took an assistant strength job with the Packers for three years before joining Clark's staff at UAB. He is now a member of the strength staff at Southern Miss.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Corey Edmond [Kentucky] and Woodfin) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Woodfin will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year award are Don Sommer (TCU, 2008), Joey Batson (Clemson, 2009), Kevin Yoxall (Auburn, 2010), Shannon Turley (Stanford, 2011), Kaz Kazadi (Baylor, 2012) and Pat Ivey (Missouri, 2013).
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