Mike Kent named strength and conditioning coach

MANHATTAN, Kan. Veteran strength and conditioning coach Mike Kent has joined the Kansas State athletics department as the Wildcats’ head strength and conditioning coach for football, Ron Prince announced Thursday.

"We are very pleased to announce the addition of Mike Kent to our staff as head strength coach,” Prince said. “Mike is a veteran strength coach who is a hard-charger and positive. We believe that his appointment will further our mission of building a fast, strong, tough and disciplined football team."

Kent, who served the last three seasons in a similar capacity at the University of Pittsburgh, brings over 20 years of strength and conditioning experience with him to K-State, including a 10-year stint from 1990-99 at Appalachian State, where he trained Prince.

“I am extremely excited to be a part of this program,” said Kent. “One of the things that is neat about the coaching profession is that I’ve been able to keep tabs on Ron (Prince) and keep in touch with him throughout his career. I share the vision he has for K-State football and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help this program reach its goals.”

A dedicated and highly respected professional in the field of strength and conditioning, Kent’s influential training methods received national attention last summer, when The Sporting News featured him in a photo essay on the training regimen he developed for the Pitt football program.

Lauded by his former players for creating a contagious enthusiasm in the weight room, Kent was instrumental in helping develop three NFL Draft picks during his tenure with the Panthers, including tackles Rob Petitti (2005), and Charles Spencer (2006) and defensive back Josh Lay (2006).

Kent was named strength and conditioning coach at Pitt in 2004 following a successful stint at the University of Louisville, where he was a key contributor to the Cardinals' 36-15 four-year record and Conference USA championships in 2000 and 2001.

At Louisville, he oversaw the physical development of eight NFL Draft selections. Among his Louisville protgs was receiver Deion Branch, who went on to become the MVP of the 2005 Super Bowl for the New England Patriots after training under Kent in 2000 and 2001.

From 1999-2000, Kent served as the strength and conditioning coordinator at Eastern Kentucky, where he oversaw performance programs for the Colonels' 16 intercollegiate sports, following his ultra successful stay at Appalachian State.

During his time with the Mountaineers, Kent helped the football program earn five NCAA I-AA playoff berths. He also trained linebacker Dexter Coakley, who went on to earn multiple All-Pro honors with the Dallas Cowboys, and in 1995, Kent was named the Southern Conference Strength Coach of the Year.

Kent's collegiate coaching career began in 1985 at North Carolina State, where he served two years as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line and assisting with the strength program. He went on to serve as the assistant defensive line coach and strength and conditioning for football at Shepherd [W.Va.] College in 1987 before moving on to East Carolina in 1988 as an assistant strength coach.

Kent earned his bachelor's degree from Fairmont [W.Va.] State in 1982 and his master's from NC State in 1987. He is married to the former Deena England.

The Mike Kent File

Year at K-State: First
Date of Birth: July 8, 1960
Hometown: Parkersburg, W.Va.
Spouse: Deena

Fairmont [W.Va.] State (1982), B.A.

1985-87: North Carolina State
1987-88: Shepherd [W.Va.] College
1988-90: East Carolina
1990-99: Appalachian State
1999-00: Eastern Kentucky
2000-04: Louisville
2004-06: Pittsburgh
2007: Kansas State