Vols’ New Hire Deemed “Rock” Solid

What can Rock Gullickson bring to the Vols?

Rock Gullickson was recently hired as UT’s new strength and conditioning coach. He seems to bring some solidity to the table – one could even say the addition is “rock” solid. Rock just came from the LA Rams where he served as the strength and conditioning coach. He brings 39 years of coaching experience to the table, with 17 of those in the NFL. Rock Gullickson’s strategy includes getting players healthy and developing new and balanced routines. Gullickson can be quoted from a UT Daily Beacon article saying:


“My philosophy is that I want the program to be balanced, I want the program to be challenging. I want the kids that, every time they leave they’re saying, ‘That was successful. I can’t wait to go back again for the next workout’.


Gullickson plans on using a variety of methods to get the players to put on muscle. He specifically would like to focus on using free weights by having players progressively work their way up and plan their course of action. This will increase stamina among the team and create a new and healthy mentality regarding the weight room.


Why does it matter to have a good strength coach anyway?


This hire is important because in years past, the Vols have been plagued with key injuries during the season. The injuries played a part in a decline in performance on the field. Gullickson will reign over all 20 of UT’s strength and conditioning programs, so he must have a fundamental understanding of what needs to be accomplished. Also, he needs to have good chemistry with the players and the coaching staff. Butch Jones said:


“We are ecstatic to welcome Rock Gullickson and his wife, Terry, into the Tennessee family.” Butch continues: “I’ve personally known rock for more than 20 years and know what he stands for as a coach and a person. He fits the culture we are continuing to build at UT, and he has a comprehensive plan and I truly believe our players will greatly benefit from.”


 What does the future hold for Butch Jones & Co.?


Even though there’s no more concern as to who would fill the strength and conditioning spot, the University of Tennessee has yet to name a replacement to Dave Hart for the new athletic director. It is essential that Butch Jones and Rock Gullickson are able to quickly adapt to the new athletic director which could potentially end up being David Blackburn or former coach and player, Phillip Fulmer. When first being interviewed, Rock Gullickson said:


“This is a great opportunity for me. I’m really excited about it. I think this is a tremendous opportunity. I think with Butch’s leadership and the work that he’s done here to develop this program, playing at Neyland Stadium, being here in Knoxville, the resources that the University of Tennessee provide, I wanted to be part of it.”

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