And so it begins — off-season football program starts today

It’s a landmark day in the calendar year for UNT football.

Off-season workouts are underway. Strength coach Frank Wintrich will have UNT’s players for the next several weeks, when they will run, lift and prepare for the upcoming season.

I’m going to write about it for tomorrow’s paper.

Dan McCarney has noted again and again how important the off-season program is and what a great job Wintrich does.

What I think it important to note, it just how far UNT has come in regards to the off-season over the years.

As hard as it is to believe now, there was a time in the early- to mid-2000s when finding the money to send football players to summer school was a huge problem/issue.

Since then, UNT has gotten to the point where its players are in school and have a coach whose sole job it is to direct the off-season program in Wintrich, not to mention three other strength coaches, including Chris Seroka.

Seroka has been around 14 years and has been one of the key figures behind the scenes at UNT for a long time.

If one is talking about changes in the program that have made a difference over the years, the off-season program has to be pretty close to the top. A ton of people have helped the Mean Green get there over the years.

Darrell Dickey was persistent in terms of the importance of getting kids into summer school. Todd Dodge took the baton and was just as persistent. He also made the case that UNT needed a dedicated football strength and conditioning coach, which led to the addition of Aaron Ausmus.

Ausmus is now the head strength and conditioning coach at USC
after a stop at Tennessee.

McCarney brought Wintrich in and has seen him continue to improve what UNT gets out of the summer months.

UNT’s administration has been open to meeting the needs of the program. There is a lot to be said for that as well.

UNT’s players often cite the difference the work they are now doing in the summer has once the season begins.

UNT is very well conditioning and has players who are better developed thanks to the work that is done over the summer.

UNT’s players lifted before. There is no way to discount the work the school’s strength staff and guys like Seroka did before.

Let’s face it, UNT doesn’t win four conference titles and send Patrick Cobbs and Cody Spencer to the NFL if the Mean Green didn’t do some good work in the weight room.

There is no question that UNT has come a long way as a program, though, when it comes to the off-season, thanks to the appeals of a three head coaches, an expanded strength staff and the work UNT’s players have put in under their direction.

That group went to work again today.

UNT will be better off this fall because of it.

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