Jazz Add Hawks Strength And Conditioning Coach Jeff Watkinson


Apr 4, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder talks with players during a timeout against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at US Airways Center. The Suns won 87-85. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Upon his arrival in Salt Lake City last summer, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder said player development would be an integral part of the team’s process. Tuesday afternoon, Coach Snyder took steps to further that cause by hiring Atlanta Hawks strength and conditioning coach Jeff Watkinson as an assistant.

Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first broke the story–

Watkinson previously worked with the Jazz head coach in Atlanta, as well as during Snyder’s tenure with the Missouri Tigers. Before joining up with the Hawks, Watkinson owned and operated the aptly-named Wat Training, where he worked with NBA players on strength, conditioning and the development of basketball skills.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told Vivlamore he was excited for Watkinson and his new job with the Jazz. Budenholzer also expressed gratitude for all that his former strength coach accomplished with Atlanta–

"“He was an important part of our player development program and his positive relationships with our players, coaches and support staff will be greatly missed. We wish him the best of luck as he joins Quin’s staff in Utah.”"

Watkinson sounds like just the sort of person Jazz fans would want young players like Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert to work with as they grow into their NBA bodies. Meanwhile, coach Snyder continues to show the team’s emphasis on player development with the hire.

After closing out a baseball career at N.C. State, Watkinson graduated pre-med and eventually received his master’s degree in exercise science from Indiana in 1996. Ten years later, he became the Hoosiers strength and conditioning coach. He held a similar post with the Hawks and Tigers, as well as the College of Charleston, Charlotte and Clemson.

Next: Beilein to Le Moyne, Watson Joins Hornacek's Staff in Phoenix

More from The J-Notes