Photo Credit: John Peterson

Corey Campbell Discusses Offseason Process, Versatile Strength and Conditioning Staff

February 22, 2023

Through Corey Campbell’s near decade of experience as a strength and conditioning coach, he’s gained knowledge and seen technological advances introduced to help him do his job.

However, the end goal and the hard work needed to achieve it is unchanging.

“At the end of the day, 45 pounds is 45 pounds. You got to pick up a barbell and you got to train,” Campbell said at Wednesday’s press conference. “I’m a firm believer that there’s no substitute for strength and no excuse for a lack of it.”

As Nebraska football’s new head strength and conditioning coach, he’s bringing that mindset to the Husker program. He was among the first group of hires made by head coach Matt Rhule, who he worked with at Baylor and with the Carolina Panthers. Rhule had high praise for Campbell earlier this month.

“Corey’s been elite since the day I first met him at Baylor,” Rhule said. “He’s unbelievably demanding. Players sometimes feel that you’re either for them or against them. He can hold you really accountable and they still know he’s for them. But he also is really knowledgeable. He understands all the science of what he does in the weight room. I want us to be a place that is on the cutting edge of everything sports science-wise, player development-wise, recovery-wise. That’s what this GO BIG project is going to allow us to do. But the people have to match the functionality. Corey has that.”

Along with a shared vision for the future, the two were both walk-ons during their playing days. Campbell was a fullback and special teams contributor at Georgia, where he first found inspiration for becoming a strength and conditioning coach.

“I utilized the weight room to give myself an advantage that I probably didn’t have with some of the scholarship athletes when I was at the University of Georgia,” Campbell said. “Through the weight room, through training, the belief that my strength and conditioning coaches had in me, their communication with the coaching staff, I was able to be a contributor on their football team.”

Rhule praised the versatility that Campbell built in his staff, pointing out the inclusion of a physical therapist — Matt Hobbs — on the strength and conditioning team. Campbell said he doesn’t need a bunch of people just like him, rather that he fills one niche and the rest of the staff also has unique specialties.

“You have myself as a strength and conditioning coach, and on my staff you have individuals with different niches, but you also have to look at the nutritionists, you have a look at the sport scientists, you have to look at the athletic medicine staff because it takes a village to train these athletes and to get them to Saturdays and perform at a high level on Saturdays,” Campbell said. “It takes more than just strength.”

Campbell’s first priority upon arriving at Nebraska was building relationships with the players. He said that regardless of how good his strength and conditioning program is, it won’t mean anything without the players buying in. Being hired at the end of November assisted in that process.

His first impression of the team was their “willingness to be coached.” He praised the attention to detail and effort the players have put in during his first months with the Huskers. Campbell said that in the offseason, the team mentality is getting 1% better every day, along with going above and beyond what’s asked of them.

“Winter programs across college football, a lot of people are doing the same thing,” Campbell said. “But what’s going to set you apart from other programs across the country is not what we’re asking you to do from a day-to-day standpoint that’s required, it’s what are you willing to do extra.”

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