University of Central Florida
The second candidate to consider comes from the University of Central Florida Strength and Conditioning coach Zach Duval. Duval was the 2017 FootballScoop Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year. Thanks to the oversight of Duval on the player’s fitness regiment, the team skyrocketed from 0-12 to 6-7 to 13-0.
Duval’s work and influence go beyond the weight room or the gymnasium. He is a strong advocate of athletes getting sufficient sleep, based on a Stanford University study of sleep translating into athletic performance. Duval embraces the latest and greatest innovations. He has spent 18 years of studying biomechanics, creating algorithms with technology and, most important, connecting with players, Duval has invented and refined successful strategies to boost athletic performance.
Duval “feels” like a great fit for the LA Rams, because he inserts himself into team meetings to understand the needs and dialogue of coaches with players. He joins coaches on the practice field to understand what positional coaches ask of the players, and then takes that knowledge back to refine his own player preparedness regiment. Duval is filled with big ideas and new innovations but is limited in terms of resources available to his program. With the LA Rams, that should not be as much of a limit.
He has been with the University of Central Florida since 2016. Prior to that, he served in a similar capacity with the University of Wyoming.