The Kentucky Wildcats have a new strength and conditioning coach after parting ways with Rob Harris, who held the position for six years.
Purdue’s Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning, Braden Welsh, has been hired as the new strength and conditioning coach at Kentucky, the school has announced.
The news was initially reported Friday morning by Dan Issel on Issel and Pratt’s radio show.
“First and foremost, I want to sincerely thank Coach Painter and Purdue Athletics,” Welsh said in a press release. “I am forever grateful for the incredible opportunity to be a part of the Boilermaker family.
“I cannot overstate my excitement to join the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program and immerse myself in the Lexington community,” Welsh said. “Being a part of one of the sport’s premier programs under the leadership of a Hall of Famer in Coach Calipari was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Big Blue Nation, let’s get to work!”
Before being hired at Purdue, Welsh was the strength and conditioning coach at IMG Academy, a basketball powerhouse, and then took his first college job at Temple in 2019.
“We’re excited to have Brady Welsh join our family,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “Brady brings a wealth of experience in an area that is critical to the development of our players both for their long-term benefit and for the immediate success during the season. He specializes in creating plans for everyone based on their needs and has worked with some of the best players in the game. I know he will be a valuable asset to our players both on and off the court.”
Welsh now has a history of producing physically dominant players, as he worked with Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey who were two of the most physically dominating players in college basketball last season.
Ivey was one of the quickest and most explosive players in the country and is now projected as a top 10 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. As for Edey, standing at 7-foot-4 290 pounds, he was one of the toughest players to keep out of the lane and from getting to his spots.
Welsh began his career as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Illinois. He was tasked with the supervision of team workouts and guided and implemented nutrition for athlete performance.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Eastern Illinois in 2015, where he also competed in golf during his time with the Panthers. Welsh has been an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 2015.
With a track record as impressive as Welsh’s, it will be exciting to see what Welsh can turn the Cats into physically with all of the talent and athleticism that is coming to the program each and every year.