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Florida announces hiring of Nick Savage as director of football strength and conditioning

Ah, fancy titles for strength coaches.

University of Florida Introduces Dan Mullen Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Florida has hired Mississippi State’s Nick Savage as director of football strength and conditioning, the school announced in a release on Monday.

Savage had previously served as Mississippi State’s head strength coach for the last two seasons.

Just 28, Savage has made something of a meteoric rise in the ranks of strength coaches by entering the Urban Meyer-Dan Mullen orbit: He began 2013 as a strength intern at Bowling Green — the first school where Meyer worked as a head coach — and ended it as a strength intern at Ohio State under legendary strength coach Mickey Marotti, who has been at Meyer’s side off and on for three decades.

During a whirlwind 2014, Savage interned at Ohio State, worked as a graduate assistant at Toledo, and then worked as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State. When then-strength coach Rick Court — who was a Marotti lieutenant at Ohio State before Mullen hired him away — left Starkville for Maryland in 2016 to become part of (former Meyer assistant) DJ Durkin’s staff, Savage was elevated by Mullen.

Watching his, um, energetic teachings, it’s not hard to see some of why.

Savage will replace the somewhat more sedate Mike Kent, who followed Jim McElwain from Colorado State. Florida’s strength and conditioning program under Kent was widely criticized — including, indirectly, by Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin — and McElwain’s Gators suffered substantial injuries in each of Kent’s three seasons stewarding the strength and conditioning program.

Savage’s title — director of football strength and conditioning — is not a new one, as Kent held the same title.