New head strength coach Rock Gullickson spoke to the media on Tuesday. The former NFL and college coach said he’s excited to work for his friend Butch Jones.
“I was the head strength coach for the University of Rutgers in New Jersey. Butch was a graduate assistant on the offensive side, he loved training and he wanted to bench press a lot of weight, so we started training together. We became close friends. I stood up for him at his wedding. Through the years, we’ve watched Butch grow,” Gullickson said.
Gullickson has been a strength coach for nearly 40 years, with 22 of those years coming at the college level. Since his start in the NFL in 2000, Gullickson has been with the Packers, Rams and Saints.
“My wife and I don’t have children, but these are my guys,” Gullickson said. “I’ve always had the belief that you raise these young men the way you want them to be. I want them to be aggressive, confident and detailed. It’s about getting to know the players and raising them like they’re your own.”
In the Los Angeles Rams’ move to California this past offseason, Gullickson was instrumental in the construction of the franchise’s new practice facility. Gullickson had high praise for the Vols’ facilities when it comes to the weight room, but says he’ll make a few adjustments as well.
“When I first saw the weight room I thought to myself, I haven’t been in a gym like this in a while. This is nice.” Gullickson said. “We rearranged a few things, kind of moved the furniture around a little bit to make it work more with my style, but our facilities our nice. I haven’t had a facility this nice for a while.”
Rock Gullickson has had some experience with former Vols in the NFL; Chad Clifton, Leonard Little and Scott Wells. All three impressed him during his time at the Rams and Packers.
“Three of my favorite guys,” Gullickson said. “When I first got to the St. Louis Rams, Leonard was there. As far as leadership, as far as work ethic, as far as positive energy, I’ve always been impressed with the guys that have come from the University of Tennessee. It’s all been good.”
When it comes to lifting philosophy, Gullickson says he is a “free weight guy.”
“I believe in planning progressions, I believe in doing the mathematics to help the kids choose weights. But my philosophy is that I want the program to be balanced, I want the program to be challenging. It’s tightly scheduled, it’s very concise. I want to engage the kids as much as possible in terms of what we’re doing.”
You can check out Rock Gullickson’s full interview here via our live periscope at the press conference.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) January 10, 2017