2019 National Conference

Scott Bennett

Developing the Strength Coach For Autonomy and Longevity in the Field

The field of collegiate strength and conditioning is changing quickly. Strength coaches are an integral part of every athletic department. With the ever changing landscape of collegiate athletics and the business of college sports, strength coaches can find themselves in a seemingly undefined yet demanding role in their own department. The role of the strength coach should be a strong and influential one in every institution’s department. In this presentation, we will discuss methods and techniques that will set the stage for strength coach autonomy, as well as professionalism and potential for longevity in our field.

With over 25 years of experience in the strength and conditioning field, Scott Bennett was named Radford University's head strength and conditioning coach on October 1, 2012. He was promoted to Assistant AD for Sport Performance in July 2015.

Scott is widely known as one of the top strength coaches in America; Radford director of athletics Robert Lineburg expressed. He is an outstanding teacher and coach and our student-athletes are going to benefit greatly under his leadership. We are extremely excited about Scott joining the Highlander Family!

Prior to RU, Bennett was up the road in Harrisonburg, Va. working as the senior assistant strength and conditioning coach for the James Madison Dukes. Bennett was directly responsible for programming baseball, softball, volleyball, and men's tennis. He was also in charge of mentoring student interns, graduate assistants, and volunteers.

In his position at Radford, Bennett oversees the day-to-day operations of the strength and conditioning program, which plays an instrumental role in the success of Highlander student-athletes and is designed to help each player reach his/her full potential.

Although Bennett's career has taken him as far west as Wyoming, he is no stranger to the New River Valley having worked at Virginia Tech under associate director of athletics for athletic performance Dr. Mike Gentry.

During his stay with the Hokies, Bennett was responsible for the development of off-season and in-season strength and conditioning programs for 13 varsity sports, including testing and evaluation, proper training protocol, nutrition, and lifting technique.

Prior to his position at JMU, Bennett was the head strength coach at three other institutions, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Wyoming and Marshall University.

A 1989 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a B.S. in Health and Physical Education, Bennett obtained his M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from Clemson University four years later. While in the Palmetto State, he served as the weightlifting instructor for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and as a graduate assistant of strength and conditioning for the Tigers, before arriving in Blacksburg.

In his career, Bennett has coached a multitude of collegiate athletes who have gone forward to find careers in the professional ranks (over 30 in the NFL), as well as conference champions, national champions, world record holders, and Olympians.

As a professional, he has risen to the top of the strength and conditioning field. Bennett is part of the NSCA's (National Strength and Conditioning Association) Coaches Registry at the Emeritus level, "the highest level awarded in the field.

Perhaps the honor standing out the most in his impressive list of accolades is his accreditation as a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCCa) since 2006. At the time, there were only 62 certified at this level in the world.

This honor paved the way for Bennett's election to the CSCCa Board of Directors, a position he served for two terms. His involvement with the association allowed him to be chosen as the first strength coach to be invited as an ex officio member of the NCAA Committee for Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

In addition to his numerous certifications in the strength and conditioning field, Bennett was voted by the American Football Quarterly as the College Division Strength Coach of the Year in 1996 and was nominated for the NSCA Strength Coach of the Year in 2002.