Oregon football held its fifth practice of spring, the last one before a two-week break, on Wednesday. Oregon’s new strength and conditioning coach, Aaron Feld, who’s known for his incredible mustache, spoke to the media for the first time since arriving on campus. Here are some of the questions he was asked.
A couple years ago, Oregon had an assistant coach who grew his hair long and wore sunglasses, he said it was a way to market himself and to be memorable to recruits, is your mustache a way for you to stand out among strength coaches?
This actually just started as a joke and kind of picked up. At one point this mustache was undefeated and you don’t shave an undefeated mustache.
What’s the grooming routine there, you use wax?
Oh yeah. I got a whole laundry list of products.
When Willie Taggart inherited this roster a little over a year ago now, he said the roster was weaker than he wanted, what kind of roster in terms of strength and conditioning do you think you inherited?
Dude, the players we have here are unbelievable. They’re fast. We had 25 guys hit over 20 miles per hour when we did speed testing. We had 11 guys hit 20 miles an hour on Monday. We had four guys go over 21 miles per hour. That’s unbelievable. We have a fast team. In terms of size and strength, their as big and strong as they can be right now and they’re going to get bigger and stronger.
You hear the term SEC strong a lot, is that real and is that something you’re trying to bring to the Pac-12?
I can’t really speak to the difference between SEC strong and Pac-12 strong, but I can tell you that the strength and conditioning program that we’re implementing here under the direction of coach Cristobal, we’re trying to create players who are big and can move. I don’t know if that’s limited to just the SEC, I think you see that in a lot of conferences and a lot of teams.
What’s the dynamic like between you and Andrew Murray (Oregon’s director of performance and sports science) and how do you two work together?
We have a performance center here that I don’t think is rivaled anywhere in college football. It’s unbelievable. We have a full-time staff that is specifically geared towards helping us collect and interpret data. … We work rather closely looking at the GPS numbers, heart-rate data, speed, they do screenings once a week in the offseason, every Wednesday we’re doing movement screening, they interpret that data and give me usable forms of it. … To have these guys who are experts in the field of data and the science behind movement, it’s unbelievable. They can interpret the data to me in a way that helps me and my staff design workouts that most effectively train our guys.
What did it take for coach Cristobal to get you to come out to Eugene?
Honestly, he just sold me on the vision. This place is sitting ready for us to do some pretty incredible things. In terms of culture, this place is in really good shape. They’ve had a lot of turnover here in the last couple years and it’s really banded our team together. They have a strong bond with each other, the players do, and they were hungry when we got here. So, really, he just sold me on that vision and explained to me what this place can be, and I believe in him and I believe in this staff that he put together, and that’s really all it takes.
Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @JustGusMorris