Kaz Kazadi – Baylor
FootballScoop is proud to announce that Kaz Kazadi (Baylor) is the 2012 FootballScoop Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year presented by ProGrass.
A finalist for the second straight season, Baylor’s Kaz Kazadi is highly regarded as one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the profession.
One of Art Briles’ first moves when he was hired at Baylor was to get Kaz on board to run the strength program. That move has definitely paid off as Kazadi has come in and helped change the culture that had surrounded the football program.
The results speak for themselves. The team is highly regarded as one of the most conditioned units in the country, constantly operating at a breakneck pace, and they’re putting more players in the NFL than ever before. Back in 2009, tackle Jason Smith was taken #2 overall and then Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III was taken #2 overall last season. Last season, they had five players drafted.
Perhaps one of the most impressive, yet overlooked aspects that Kazadi has played a part in is preparing players who were buried on the depth chart last season. With five players getting drafted last season (two of them going in the first round), the Bears were able to just reload with guys that were prepared (most notably on the offensive side of the ball), both mentally and physically, to pick up where their predecessors had left off.
Head coach Art Briles said, “This is a great honor for Kaz. I’m surprised it took five years. He’s been the best in his field since Day One. He’s cutting edge and out-of-the-box and has helped elevate our program. He has a great personality that matches his passion and intelligence.”
Another thing that Kaz is known for is developing the mind along with the body. The day after games, when many teams are holding film sessions and walk-throughs, Baylor’s guys are in the weight room bruised and sore, pushing through the pain to get some quality work in. That philosophy illustrates that there are no shortcuts to developing a mentally and physically tough team year in and year out.
The energy and accountability that Kazadi brings to the facility everyday has made it easy for the players and staff to buy in to the system and it’s easy to see why he is one of the most well regarded coaches in the entire strength profession.
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 (Kazadi, Craig Fitzgerald – Penn State and Bryan Miller – Oregon State) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.
Kazadi 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) and Shannon Turley (Stanford, 2011).
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