In an age where strength and conditioning is becoming an absolute necessity, one thing fans have noticed is a drop off in the 4th quarter in Tech's ability to hang physically with an opponent. Oklahoma State stands out as a game where Tech looked gassed late. One could argue Kansas State as well. And it's not just leads given up, but the inability to hang in games late or make a comeback which have been the trademark of Tech teams over the last decade. It's a topic that wasn't lost on Kingsbury as he dismissed Chad Dennis from his position as strength and conditioning coach.
The one thing that Dennis did bring to the program was keeping players healthy. Obviously that statement is relative, but when compared to previous seasons of massive injuries to star players it can't be overlooked. As far as everything else, Tech's S&C program has been mediocre. That has all changed with the hire of Rusty Whitt.
Whitt is an Army Special Forces veteran who served 5 years in the War in Iraq and Afghanistan who turned his special forces training into techniques to apply to his own strength and conditioning program. From making players work being tied together or by wearing gas-masks during cardio work, his focus of mental toughness as well as physical toughness made him a player favorite at UL-Lafayette. He's also been known to head butt a player wearing a helmet.
It's an interesting hire and one that shows that Kingsbury not only wants a better conditioned football team, but one with a different mental disposition as well. Something that showed all too evidently in the bowl game versus LSU was how Tech's offensive and defensive lines were manhandled by the Tigers. At one point, Alfredo Morales was thrown out of the way by an LSU defensive lineman with one arm.
Kingsbury has now made three hires out of a total seven vacancies he needed to fill. Of the positions still needed to be filled are RB coach, DB coach, DL coach and LB coach.
Kingsbury has recently promoted Emmett Jones to Offensive Assistant, presumably WR coach though it hasn't been announced as of yet and hired Joe Robinson from South Carolina to be the Special Teams Coordinator.