Lincoln -- Two of the nation's best strength trainers have been added to Bill Callahan's football staff at Nebraska. Dave Kennedy will be the new head strength coach for football. Kennedy will be joined by his former assistant Dave Langworthy, who will serve as an assistant strength coach.
Bryan Bailey, who took over the head football strength coach duties when Boyd Epley was promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Performance and Facility Development last spring, will remain as a valuable member of the football staff as an assistant strength coach. Kennedy, Langworthy and Bailey will work together devoting their time and energy to the strength and performance needs of the Husker football team.
Kennedy, 43, was lured away from the University of Pittsburgh by Coach Callahan, who had previously tried to hire Kennedy a year ago when Callahan was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Kennedy got his start in the field at Nebraska, where he earned his degree and trained under Epley, who literally invented strength and conditioning at Nebraska. Kennedy worked under his mentor from 1982 to 1988.
"I'm very familiar with Dave Kennedy," Callahan said, "His reputation precedes him. Dave is widely recognized as a leader in his profession and has been sought after by numerous NFL and collegiate programs. We are very fortunate to have him join our staff. Dave will head up our strength staff, bring Dave Langworthy with him, and with Bryan Bailey, who is already here, we will have the top strength staff in the country. I know our players will be physically prepared for the rigors of the Big 12 Conference."
Kennedy graduated from Nebraska with a degree in strength coaching in 1985. After working on Epley’s staff for three years, Kennedy was hired as the head football strength coach at Ohio State. At Ohio State, Kennedy helped bring the Buckeye program to national prominence. From 1988 to 2001, he worked with standouts such as Eddie George, Orlando Pace, Joey Galloway, Dan Wilkinson, David Boston, Andy Katzenmoyer, Shawn Springs, Robert Smith and Mike Vrabel, producing 21 All-America awards, 17 first-round draft picks, and winners of Heisman and Outland trophies as well as the Butkus, Biletnikoff, Thorpe and Lombardi Awards. During his 14 years at Ohio State, Kennedy established himself as one of the premier strength coaches in the country.
The Omaha native left Ohio State before the start of the 2002 season and joined Head Coach Walt Harris’ staff at Pittsburgh. At Pittsburgh, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and the recipient of the 2003 Walter Camp Award and the 2003 Biletnikoff Award after training under Coach Kennedy for the past two years.
"It’s great to be home," Kennedy said. "It is a wonderful opportunity to return to where I started and to work for the most prestigious football program in the country. As I walk through the halls of South Stadium, I see the pictures of Husker greats on the walls and I am reminded of the storied tradition this program has. I have nothing but respect for Boyd Epley and his staff and I hope to carry on this great tradition.
"Coach Callahan is the talk of the nation in terms of the staff he has assembled and to have the opportunity to work with him, building national championship teams here at Nebraska, that's simply an opportunity I could not pass on. In order to have success in any football program, the strength coach needs to have the support of the head coach. I know Coach Callahan is committed to putting the very best teams on the field and I am thrilled to be able to work with him."
Kennedy received Ohio State's Admiral's Trophy prior to the 1993 Holiday Bowl. The Admiral’s Trophy, voted on by the players, goes to the person whose dedication, hard work and spirit most inspired the team.
Dave and his wife Julie have three sons, Ben (9), Nick (7) and Eric (4). Julie was a former Husker Hostess for the football recruiting program.
Working with Kennedy at Pittsburgh for the past two years as an assistant football strength coach, Dave Langworthy also worked with Kennedy at Ohio State from 1990 to 1996. He joins the Husker staff as an assistant strength coach and along with Bryan Bailey, will assist Kennedy with the football team’s strength and conditioning programs.
A Miami, Fla., native, Langworthy graduated from Florida State in 1989 with a degree in exercise physiology. He was the head men’s basketball strength coach and the assistant strength coach for the football and baseball programs at his alma mater from 1987 to 1989.
Langworthy joined Kennedy at Ohio State in 1990, serving as assistant strength coach for football as well as head strength coach from 1990 to 1996 for the men’s basketball team. During that time, the Buckeyes’ basketball team was a two-time conference champion as Langworthy worked with the current head coach of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers Randy Ayers. From 1997 to 2001, Langworthy served as the assistant strength coach for football.
An avid lifter, Langworthy captured the Florida state championship titles in weightlifting, freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling and also earned the title of Southern State Powerlifting Champion. Langworthy also has a black belt in Kenpo, Chinese Kung-Fu.