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OFFICIAL: Oklahoma hires Bennie Wylie as new director of sports performance

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has been all smiles since being named OU's head coach on June 7.
OFFICIAL: Oklahoma hires Bennie Wylie as new director of sports performance

Updated Jan. 16, 2018

The University of Oklahoma has made the hiring of new director of sports performance, Bennie Wylie, official. Release:

University of Oklahoma Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione and Head Football Coach Lincoln Riley announced Bennie Wylie as the Sooners’ new director of sports performance for football Tuesday, pending approval by the OU Board of Regents.

“There’s nobody in the business I respect more than Bennie Wylie,” said Riley, “and I knew that if I ever had a strength and conditioning opening that I’d love to reunite with him. We had a lot of years together at Texas Tech, and during that time I was able to watch his work and see the impact he had on our players both physically and on their lives overall.

“He’s a great motivator as well as a very, very knowledgeable strength coach. And he brings a really unique approach in that he does a lot of the workouts with his guys; kind of goes through the same tough things that they do. Plus, he just has a unique gift of bringing the best out of people.

“This is certainly an important position, and I think we just hired the best person in the country.”

Wylie, who is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute and USA Weightlifting, was named a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association in 2012. The organization’s highest honor, it represents professionalism, knowledge, experience, expertise and longevity in the field.

“Bennie Wylie holds an outstanding reputation in the strength and conditioning profession both for his skill and the way he inspires people,” said Castiglione. “We’re excited to welcome him to Norman. His personality and approach mesh with our department’s core values, and our football student-athletes will fall in love with his energy and attitude. Strength and conditioning — just like sports medicine, nutrition and psychological resources — is a vital component of our overall performance approach here at OU, and we have every belief that Bennie will bring out the absolute best in our student-athletes.”

“I’m incredibly excited for this opportunity, especially considering I’m only the fifth strength and conditioning coach in the history of this great football program,” said Wylie. “That mean’s we’ve been doing it right for a long time, and we’re going to continue to do it right.

“It’s great to be back with so many members of this staff. I’ve known Coach Riley since he was 18 years old at Texas Tech. To see him evolve as a man, as a coach and as a mentor has been incredible. I’m just so proud of him. And then Coach (Ruffin) McNeill, Coach (Dennis) Simmons, Coach (Bill) Bedenbaugh — I’ve known all of those guys for a really long time. It’s great to put our coaching family back together.”

Wylie indicated Tuesday that he is no stranger to Oklahoma, despite just starting in his new role.

“I’ve followed this program for a long time, because my mentor, Joe Juraszek, was here forever,” he said. “So I’ve known about the legacy here and what’s expected. Coming in, I’ve seen nothing less than what I expected: great young men who have done it right, who are very respectful and are willing to do anything and everything it takes to be great, and to win at a high level year to year.”

FootballScoop and SoonerScoop are reporting Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma are going to hire Bennie Wylie as their new head of strength and conditioning.

Wylie was the strength and conditioning coach at Texas Tech during Lincoln Riley’s entire tenure in Lubbock. Before, he was an assistant strength coach for the Dallas Cowboys under former Oklahoma strength coach, Joe Juraszek.

After leaving Texas Tech, Wylie worked at Tennessee for one year, and then joined Texas as their strength and conditioning coach in 2011. He was let go from Texas in 2014.

Wylie has been serving as the Director of Performance at The Performance Lab in Abilene, Texas–privately training high school, college, and professional athletes. He also was the winner of NBC’s “Strong” television series during its inaugural season. The competition is a 10-week tournament testing one women and one man’s strength, endurance, and mental stamina as a team.

He will be replacing longtime Oklahoma Director of Sports Enhancement, Jerry Schmidt, who took a similar job at Texas A&M just over a week ago.

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