O’Donnell Named Strength Coach for Men’s Basketball Team

MANHATTAN, Kan.Ben O’Donnell has been named an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the Kansas State serving the men’s basketball program, the athletics department announced on Monday.

A former point guard at Florida State and UCF, O’Donnell spent the past five seasons at his alma mater in Orlando, where he coordinated the strength and conditioning program for men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women soccer, women’s tennis and men’s golf. Overall, he spent six years at UCF, starting as an intern (2010-11) then as a graduate assistant (2011-13) before becoming a full-time staff member in 2013.

“We feel Ben will bring a high level of energy to the weight room every day,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “Summer is a really important time in the development of our players, so it was critical to get someone who fit well with our team. He has a history with (director of operations) Drew (Speraw) at UCF, and once the entire staff was able to interact with him, we came away impressed with his energy and enthusiasm. We also think that his background as a basketball player will be huge positive in developing our players to their greatest potential.”

O’Donnell replaces Jimmy Price, who resigned earlier this month to pursue other career opportunities.

“I appreciate all of Jimmy’s contributions over the past 13 years both here at K-State and at Illinois,” said Weber. “We all wish him the best as he pursues the personal fitness industry closer to his family in Texas.”

“I truly feel blessed with an incredible opportunity here at K-State,” said O’Donnell. “I plan to take full advantage of every resource available to help increase the athletic development of the men’s basketball team. I’m very grateful to work with Coach (Bruce) Weber and the entire staff.” I plan to give the team consistent energy and effort every day and will demand the same from them.”

O’Donnell played one season at Florida State (2007-08) for head coach Leonard Hamilton before transferring to UCF in 2008, where he played alongside current K-State director of basketball operations Drew Speraw for one season (2009-10), under Drew’s father, Kirk. 

A native of Largo, Fla., O’Donnell earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from UCF in 2011 before receiving a Master’s degree in physical education from South Florida in 2013. He also holds USA Weightlifting, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA) accreditation.