Strength coach makes di≠er­ence

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Brian How­ell

boul­der » As dozens of Colorado foot­ball play­ers go through awork­out, Drew Wil­son doesn’t stop.

Wil­son, the en­er­getic new di­rec­tor of strength and con­di­tion­ing atCU, has been on the job for only about three­weeks, but as he con­stantly weaves his way through the room, it’s clear who runs this show.

“There’s been a lot of en­ergy in here, and he’s brought a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive and a dif­fer­ent vibe,” run­ning back Michael Ad­kins said. “He’s very en­cour­ag­ing and very mo­ti­vat­ing, and I think that’s what we needed.”

Af­ter a 4-9 sea­son last fall, Colorado coach Mike MacIn­tyre fired di­rec­tor of sports per­for­mance Dave For­man in De­cem­ber.

Ar­guably the most im­por­tant hire a coach can make is with the strength coach, be­cause that per­son spends the most time with the play­ers. MacIn­tyre put his trust in Wil­son, who spent the pre­vi­ous five years atMary­land.

Wil­son­wasted no time in putting his stamp on the strength and con­di­tion­ing pro­gram.

“Based onmy phi­los­o­phy, yeah, we’re start­ing from ground zero,” he said.

Un­der For­man, the Buffs had a more sci­en­tific ap­proach. WithWil­son, it’s all about get­ting stronger.

“It’s pretty sim­ple,” Wil­son said. “We’re go­ing to Olympic lift, we’re go­ing to squat, we’re go­ing to press, we’re go­ing to pull. Ev­ery­thing af­ter that is based on the in­di­vid­ual guy’s need. Call it old school. We’re go­ing to liftweights, and that’s how you get stronger.”

The ses­sions are fast­paced, too, and if a player slacks off, he’ll hear about it.

“We worked hard un­der (For­man) as well, but it’s a dif­fer­ent change of pace,” of­fen­sive tackle Isaac Miller said. “Hope­ful­lywe keep it go­ing.”

Ad­kins, Miller and sev­eral other play­ers have given pos­i­tive re­views of Wil­son to this point.

“The guys have picked up on ev­ery­thing, and they’re do­ing a good job,” Wil­son said.“They love it. Kidswant to get stronger, they want to work hard; they just need a di­rec­tion, to be told how to do it. They need to have de­mands placed on them.”

While Wil­son has been de­mand­ing, he also be­lieves that play­ers need to know his de­mands stem­froma de­sire tomake them­bet­ter, not to tear them down men­tally. He’s mo­ti­vat­ing their minds as much as their bod­ies.

“He’s an in­tense guy,” Miller said. “He’s get­ting ev­ery­body mo­ti­vated, which is good.”

Wil­son was happy to see MacIn­tyre push back the start of spring prac­tice from Fe­bru­ary to early March so he can have more time to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing.

“It’s go­ing to al­low us to have a lit­tle bit bet­ter base on what we want to do go­ing into spring ball,” Wil­son said.

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