The revamping of Tennessee’s strength and conditioning staff took another turn on Friday afternoon with the announcement that director Dave Lawson had been let go, according to multiple reports.
Tennessee has let go strength and conditioning director Dave Lawson, citing "philosophical differences" https://t.co/0Dlx4CBewN
— Doug Samuels (@CoachSamz) April 22, 2016
As of March of this year, Lawson was no longer overseeing day-to-day football workouts at Tennessee, instead transitioning into a role where he oversaw strength and conditioning for multiple sports at UT.
It’s been a drastic change for Lawson, who has been with Butch Jones overseeing football workouts since 2007 at Central Michigan, following him to Cincinnati in 2010 and then to Tennessee in 2013. Lawson had previous stints at Eastern Michigan, West Virginia and West Virginia Tech, his alma mater, before joining Jones at CMU.
Jones has touted drastic improvement in the weight room since his arrival in Knoxville in 2013. That was evident at UT’s recent Pro Day where several Vols posted impressive numbers in various strength and conditioning drills, including defensive tackle Owen Williams repping 225 pounds 42 times on the bench press – the highest recorded total of any draft-eligible prospect this year.
But injuries have mounted for the Vols in the past year, culminating with an Orange and White Game this year that saw 24 players sit out due to various ailments.
Jones mentioned late in spring practice that focus had shifted more in the strength and conditioning department to injury prevention, but didn’t give any specifics of what that looked like or what that meant for the personnel in that department.
Michael Szerszen, who has been on Jones’ strength and conditioning staff since 2011, has been overseeing football workouts in recent months, and that appears, at least for now, to continue to be the plan going forward.