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30 Reasons for 30 Days - Day 8: Because of Kenny Parker

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NCAA Football: Rutgers at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more visible new faces at Rutgers this spring and summer was the new strength and conditioning coach Kenny Parker. Parker was another of the staff, like Coach Okruch, who followed Chris Ash from Ohio State, where Parker was the assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Since his arrival, Parker has been a very vocal and visible member of the staff. Starting early this spring, there has been a steady stream of stories detailing how Kenny Parker is transforming the way our players have begun to transforming their bodies to make them “Big Ten-ready” as it has been described. The workouts he instituted are grueling. I get tired just watching it!

As Griffin Whitmer noted in an article earlier this year, Kenny Parker is The Man! Check out the article, it has several other workout videos. Try them out if you dare!

Coach Parker’s drive and intensity had an impact on others outside the team as well. Longtime Rutgers sports supporters Ron Garutti and his wife Joanna made a private donation of $1.25 Million strictly to upgrade and improve the weight room. This past Sunday, the Ron and Joanna Garutti Strength and Conditioning Center was opened for use by the student-athletes. Ron Garutti, a member of the Rutgers Board of Trustees and Board of Overseers, said early on the donation was made in order to make the facility comparable to any similar facility around the conference.

Parker focuses upon the “culture” of the program, and it’s importance to the success of the football program. Here it is in his own words:

He also feels one of the more important aspects of his job is to push the players, in order to fuel their competitive nature.

If you are OK with slide shows (many of our readers complain heartily about NJ.com ‘s slideshows), here is one from earlier this year showing the biggest weight (read muscle) gain among the players.

So, Kenny Parker has quickly made himself an integral part of the program. Coach Ash early on said that if Kenny Parker wouldn’t come here, he may have reconsidered accepting the job. Thankfully he did not, and Coach Kenny Parker is today’s reason why it is great to be a Rutgers football fan.