It’s official. Georgia has a new Director of Strength and Conditioning. He’s Mark Hocke, formerly a Co-Associate Football Strength and Conditioning coach at Alabama. Richt says the right thing about the new guy.
“After a national search we’re excited to have Mark Hocke joining our staff as head of our strength and conditioning program,” said Richt.
“It’s an important position that is essential to the success of our program moving forward in the years to come.”
Hocke has served the past six years under Alabama Director of Strength and Conditioning Scott Cochran. During that time, he’s been part of a program that has won three SEC championships, three national championships (and playing for another), and 72 games in the last six seasons.
Before that, he was a high school coach. I bring this up because of one curious thing. Georgia’s job site posting for the position lists this as a requirement:
A Bachelors Degree is required, Masters Degree preferred. Should be certified with the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA). 5 years of more experience as a Division 1A Head Strength & Conditioning Coach required. [Emphasis added.]
Unless I’m missing something, he ain’t that.
None of which is to say he’s not capable of doing a bang up job. And I have little doubt that he’s had a few of the existing coaches on the staff vouch strongly for him. (Maybe we should start calling Friend, Hocke, Pruitt and Sherrer as a group the “Alabama Mafia”.) But there’s also that skeptical part of me that says this perhaps smells of not getting your top choice.
Then again, maybe they were bowled over by his enthusiasm.
That’s him skipping past Saban.
One thing I’m pretty sure of, though, is that Hocke’s affordable. I don’t know what he made at Alabama, but as a member of a nine-man assistant strength and conditioning coach staff there, I doubt he was a top dollar guy.
That in and of itself isn’t conclusive about where Georgia’s S&C is going with the new hire. What I’ll be more curious to watch is whether B-M allows Richt and Hocke to level the playing field between Georgia and Alabama at least to some extent. We shall see.