Tennessee coach Derek Dooley didn’t directly dip into the college ranks to find his new strength and conditioning coach.
He went through the government.
Ron McKeefery, who recently left South Florida for a role with the United States Army Special Forces, was announced as the Vols’ new strength and conditioning coach Monday.
“Our program improved significantly today with the addition of Ron McKeefery as our football head strength and conditioning coach,” Dooley said in a university statement. “Ron has a track record of proven success in the South over a sustained period of time and is a man of high character and integrity who views Tennessee as a program with unlimited potential.“We are excited to add a strength and conditioning coach of Ron’s caliber and background to our football program, and we believe his efforts and intensity will play a critical role in our program’s return to a perennial championship contender.”
Length, terms and salary in McKeefery’s new contract with UT were not immediately available.
Before leaving for his role with the Army, McKeefery spent 11 seasons at South Florida and was named the 2008 Under Armour Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. He has also worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and served as the head strength and conditioning coach with the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe in 2000.
McKeefery replaces Bennie Wylie, who left earlier this month for the same position at Texas. Wylie, a Texas native, was used a strong focal point in both UT’s recruiting efforts and its promotion for the new indoor football training center, which is set for completion in Summer 2012.
“I am very excited to be at the University of Tennessee and to work with some of the best student-athletes in America,” McKeefery said in a statement. “Coach Dooley, the staff, and administration have the utmost character and integrity, and I am eager to begin working with the student-athletes and to contribute to the positive impact that the University is having in their lives.”
McKeefery is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with Distinction and Coach Practitioner under the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is also a Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified under the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.
McKeefery is married to the former Angela Hamilton and the couple has three children: Tyler, Ava, and Maya.
Andrew Gribble covers Tennessee football and recruiting. He may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble/