Brittany Schock / Asst. sports editor
The Ohio State football team did not get much time to rest after its 24-17 loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2.
Just days after the conclusion of the 2011 season, the Buckeyes were back in the weight room for training and conditioning under the instruction of new strength coach Mickey Marotti, who pushed up the start of offseason workouts by a week.
“We were getting antsy,” Marotti said at his introductory press conference on Jan 12. “It’s time to go.”
Marotti, whose official title is assistant athletic director for football sports performance, will serve as strength and conditioning coordinator and manage the entire sports performance staff of the football program under new coach Urban Meyer.
“Anybody that touches our athletes in the football program, I kind of oversee it from a communications standpoint to see what we can do better to be the best out there,” Marotti said.
This will be the fourth time that Marotti and Meyer will work together. The two met as graduate assistants at OSU in 1987 and were reunited nearly a decade later at Notre Dame where Meyer coached wide receivers and Marotti served as strength coach. When Meyer was hired as coach at Florida in 2005, one of his first hires was Marotti, who went on to serve as director of strength and conditioning for the Gators until coming to Columbus.
Meyer said he has complete confidence in Marotti, as well as the four full-time assistants that will work under him.
“There are times in the year when the strength staff has more contact with the team than the coaching staff,” Meyer said. “I have complete trust in Mickey Marotti’s abilities to prepare our student-athletes to be the strongest, fastest and mentally toughest football players they can be.”
Marotti said having assistant athletic director as part of his title was something that was very important to him as far as future career aspirations.
“I had a similar role at Florida, but there wasn’t a title involved,” Marotti said. “I think it has a little bit more meaning and maybe, down the road 10 or 15 years from now, maybe that’s an avenue that I’d like to take, to get into administration.”
Marotti received a master’s in strength in conditioning from OSU in 1987 and is only one of 100 strength trainers to receive such an honor . His salary for 2012 is $380,000. He is known for incorporating unusual exercises into his workouts, such as flipping tires and hauling rocks.
“I’m going to go very hard on these guys,” Marotti said. “We’re going to be doing a lot of things here in the upcoming weeks that I know (the players) are looking forward to.
“Well, I am at least.”