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Pitt promotes Kolodziej to strength coach

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 4:36 p.m.

Pitt has named former NFL and Wisconsin defensive lineman Ross Kolodziej as its head football strength and conditioning coach.

Kolodziej was an assistant last season to former strength coach Todd Rice, who resigned.

“Our goal is to reassert the Pitt program among the very best in college football,” Kolodziej said. “We have a sense of urgency to build upon the momentum from our bowl victory. That starts in the weight room this winter.

“It is our responsibility to maximize our players' abilities and opportunities at Pitt. They may think they know what work is, but we're going to put them in the furnace this offseason. The great thing is our kids have told me they want to work and be pushed. It's that kind of desire that produces results on and off the field.”

Kolodziej, who also was a shot putter in college, started 45 games for Wisconsin from 1997-2000 when the Badgers won consecutive Big Ten titles (1998-99). He holds Wisconsin weight room records for a defensive player in the squat and clean and defensive lineman records in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and pro-agility drill.

He was a seventh-round draft choice of the New York Giants in 2001 and also played for the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. After his playing career, he was a full-time strength and conditioning intern and a defensive graduate assistant at Wisconsin.

— Jerry DiPaola

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