In the competitive world of college football, strength coaches are becoming increasingly valued for their crucial role in athlete development. As the 2023 season heads toward crunch time, let’s shine a spotlight on the masterminds of muscle and might, the top-paid strength coaches in college football who are pushing the boundaries of physical training.
Below are the top 10 highest-paid strength coaches in college football. Click on the relevant strength coach to learn more or continue to scroll to read more about the top-paid strength and conditioning coaches in NCAA football.
Top 10 Highest-Paid Strength Coaches in College Football in 2023
- 10. Joey Batson, Clemson – $625,000
- 9. Ron McKeefery, Washington – $625,008
- 8. Jerry Schmidt, Oklahoma – $650,000
- 7. Aaron Wellman, Indiana – $710,000
- 6. David Ballou, Alabama – $725,000
- 5. Mark Hocke, Florida – $750,000
- 4. Raimond Braithwaite, Iowa – $760,000
- 3. Mickey Marotti, Ohio State – $882,238
- 2. Rob Glass, Oklahoma State – $1,000,000
- 1. Ben Herbert, Michigan – $1,000,000
10. Joey Batson (Clemson) – $625,000
Joey Batson has been a driving force behind Clemson’s strength and conditioning, playing a key role in sculpting the physique and fortitude of players. His expertise in developing tailored training regimens, coupled with his educational background, has made him an invaluable asset to the team’s culture of robust athleticism and discipline.
Under his guidance, Clemson athletes have consistently demonstrated improved performance and resilience, contributing to the university’s acclaimed football legacy.
9. Ron McKeefery (Washington) – $625,008
Ron McKeefery stands out for his comprehensive approach to strength training at the University of Washington having moved from Fresno State in 2022. McKeefery has experience outside of football having worked for US Special Forces and the Chinese Olympic Committee.
McKeefery’s programs are renowned for their focus on not just the physical, but also the nutritional and psychological well-being of the athletes, fostering an environment where student-athletes thrive under his multifaceted development strategies.
He has been named Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year twice so far in his career.
8. Jerry Schmidt (Oklahoma) – $650,000
Jerry Schmidt has been involved in strength and conditioning coaching since 1988. He has served on top-class teams like Florida, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma State. He now holds the title of Director of Sports Enhancement at Oklahoma.
Schmidt has helped sculpt the careers of seven Heisman Trophy winners including Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Barry Sanders. It’s safe to say this veteran coach has earned his payday.
7. Aaron Wellman (Indiana) – $710,000
Aaron Wellman’s distinguished career spans over a quarter-century, marked by his ascent to Indiana University’s senior assistant athletic director for football performance in 2023.
With a comprehensive background that includes a four-year stint with the New York Giants, Wellman has shaped elite strength and conditioning programs across the nation, including influential roles at Michigan, San Diego State, and Ball State.
His expertise is further underlined by his credentials as a master strength and conditioning coach and his multiple degrees in sport and nutrition sciences, culminating in a Ph.D. from Bond University.
Wellman’s impact at Indiana is evidenced by record-breaking All-Big Ten selections and the development of All-Americans under his tenure.
6. David Ballou (Alabama) – $725,000
David Ballou, renowned for his scientific approach, joined Alabama’s athletic program from Indiana in 2020 as the Director of Sports Performance. At Alabama, he is the go-to guy for the team’s strength and conditioning regimen with cutting-edge technology and methods.
Ballou oversees Alabama’s advanced 37,000-square-foot weight room, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, ensuring an optimal training environment. His impact at Alabama is marked by his holistic approach, integrating athletic training and performance nutrition, and his experience in developing NFL-level talent further bolsters Alabama’s already prestigious football program.
5. Mark Hocke (Florida) – $750,000
Mark Hocke, in his role as Florida’s Associate Head Coach and Director of Football Strength and Conditioning, brings a wealth of experience from various esteemed programs. Before Florida, he significantly contributed to Louisiana’s success, including four consecutive Sun Belt West Division titles.
His tenure at Texas A&M, Florida State, and Georgia showcases his ability to enhance team performance and individual player development. At Alabama, Hocke played a pivotal role in coaching teams to BCS National Championships and aiding over 35 players in reaching the NFL.
His comprehensive history includes coaching 14 first round NFL Draft picks including Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Sony Michel.
4. Raimond Braithwaite (Iowa) – $760,000
Raimond Braithwaite, in his 19th year with the University of Iowa football program and currently serving as the director of strength and conditioning, has been instrumental in the team’s consistent success. His tenure, marked by Iowa’s record streak of bowl invitations and top 25 finishes, underscores his effective conditioning programs.
Prior to Iowa, Braithwaite made significant contributions at Delaware State, aiding in their record-breaking season and conference win. His expertise, honed through his masters level education in sports science and exercise physiology, highlights his comprehensive approach to athlete development.
3. Mickey Marotti (Ohio State) – $882,238
Mickey Marotti, with over three decades of coaching experience, is in his 12th season at Ohio State as the assistant athletic director for football sports performance. Renowned for his expertise in motivation and mental preparation,
Marotti has been instrumental in Ohio State’s outstanding achievements, including a national championship in 2014. His tenure at Ohio State has seen numerous players achieve All-American status and first-round NFL Draft picks, including Chase Young, CJ Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Nick Bosa, and Chris Olave.
Marotti’s impact extends beyond physical training, contributing significantly to the team’s impressive record and continuous success in the Big Ten Conference. His career highlights his profound influence on player development and team success at Ohio State.
1. Rob Glass (Oklahoma State) – $1,000,000
Rob Glass at Oklahoma State is one of the two strength coaches leading the million-dollar club as the highest-paid strength coaches in college football. Glass, renowned for his expertise in strength and conditioning, has significantly contributed to the success of Oklahoma State’s football program in his 19th year.
His tenure has seen the development of exceptional athletes like Barry Sanders, Dez Bryant, and Justin Blackmon. Glass’s work at Florida also stands out, where he contributed to the Gators’ national championship and the development of first-round NFL picks like Rex Grossman and Jevon Kearse.
His teams have made 29 appearances in bowl games, including the Sugar, Fiesta, and Cotton Bowls, underscoring his pivotal role in shaping top-tier athletic talent.
1. Ben Herbert (Michigan) – $1,000,000
At the top of the pay scale with Glass as the highest-paid strength coach in college football is Ben Herbert of Michigan. Herbert, in his sixth season at the University of Michigan, has significantly influenced the program as the Director of Strength and Conditioning.
He has worked with 95 NFL Draft picks, including 12 first-round selections, and coached players who have won numerous national awards. At Michigan, Herbert developed 22 NFL draftees, such as Devin Bush and Aidan Hutchinson.
Herbert became the youngest coach to receive the Master Strength and Conditioning Coach honor by the CSCCa, showcasing his exceptional skills and contributions to collegiate football strength and conditioning.