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Huskies

New Strength And Conditioning Coach Focusing On Speed At Washington

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Dwayne Washington (12) of the Washington Huskies heads for the end zone while being pursued by an Oregon State defender during a game last season. The Huskies' new strength and conditioning staff is focusing on speed with the players so that more big plays, like this one, can occur in 2014. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Dwayne Washington (12) of the Washington Huskies heads for the end zone while being pursued by an Oregon State defender during a game last season. The Huskies’ new strength and conditioning staff is focusing on speed with the players so that more big plays, like this one, can occur in 2014. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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(1090 The Fan) — It has been an offseason of change for the Washington Huskies’ football team. As the tornado of change swept through the program this winter, it certainly affected the strength and conditioning aspects as well.

New head coach Chris Petersen has brought along with him his strength and conditioning coach from Boise State, Tim Socha. This will be the ninth season Socha has worked under Petersen since joining the head coach in 2006 at Boise State.

After Washington’s 10th practice of the spring, Socha, a former offensive lineman with Minnesota during the mid-90’s, talked about some of the changes he has implemented as well as his overall philosophy as the strength coach.

“I think our biggest philosophy is we are really big on speed and trying to get our guys faster,” Socha said. “Our coaches do a great job of recruiting guys who have speed, but our goal is to make whatever you come in as, get you better by the end of your time here.”

Coach Socha has noticed the way the game of college football has changed, especially from his days in the Big Ten. The game is built on speed and agility in every facet so that is where his team will focus with the players.

“Speed has always been very important to the game of football,” Socha said. “I think the biggest thing is the change in tempo, that is something we’ve had to address as strength and conditioning coaches. And if you don’t, I feel like you are setting your guys up for a disadvantage.”

Coach Petersen and his staff have also brought in a nutritionist to monitor the other important aspect of fitness — diet. She works full time to make sure the players are eating right daily.

The new nutritional team does a good job of mixing up the meals to make as many kids happy as possible, according to coach Socha. But obviously, with so many different backgrounds and tastes represented in the locker room, pleasing everybody is a tall order.

That wasn’t the case for coach Petersen when he needed to round out his staff this winter.

“There was no hesitation,” coach Petersen said of bringing Socha along with him to Washington. “I think he’s the best in the business.”

Notes:

- Redshirt sophomore quarterback Cyler Miles remains suspended and absent from team activities. Coach Petersen spoke on Saturday and left the possibility open for Miles to return to the team as soon as spring practice.  The Huskies have five remaining practices including the spring game.

- Junior linebacker Shaq Thompson worked again at running back, Tuesday. He continues to look explosive and dynamic as a runner, taking multiple hand-offs to the second level.

- Washington’s defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake mentioned earlier during spring practice that he wanted to see his secondary make more plays on the ball. After 10 practices now, coach Lake is seeing some progress in that regard.  “We’ve had some progression there,” Lake confirmed. “We keep track on a board in our DB room, there’s a few tick marks in there. I think there’s about eight or nine in there now…I’m greedy though, I want more.”

-Anthony Dion, 1090 The Fan

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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