Athletics names new strength and conditioning coach

UNA strength and conditioning coordinator Steve Herring exhibits proper form in incline bench press at the UNA Strength Facility. Herring brings over 30 years of experience in strength and conditioning training to UNA Athletics.

North Alabama recently named a new strength and conditioning coach, and it did not have to look far.

Local fitness center owner and UNA alumnus Steve Herring took over the role as the strength and conditioning coach for all 14 of UNA’s sports Jan. 10.

“This is a dream come true,” Herring said. “I get to come to this weight room every day with all these great kids who push every day to get better. It’s a blessing.”

Herring graduated from UNA in 1985 with aspirations of coaching high school sports, but decided against that career path.

But, he said he always had a passion for the strength training side of coaching. He volunteered at local high schools during his time as a student where he discovered a love of helping kids get stronger and faster.

“Back when I graduated, there was no such thing as a strength coach,” he said. “The football coach was always the strength coach, and it would stay that way for years.”

He took his passion for fitness and became a competitive power lifter for 15 years while working as a marketer at Martin Industries in Florence until the company went out of business in 2003.

Herring then decided he wanted to make a living doing something he loved, he said.

He became the manager of The Edge Sports Performance at three different locations. While there, he also became the strength and conditioning coordinator for Florence High School.

Herring brings over three decades of experience in strength and conditioning to the Lions, including nine years in a similar role at Florence High School.

UNA Director of Athletics Mark Linder said Herring’s positive character and knowledge of fitness stood out amongst the pool of candidates.

“His expertise in strength and conditioning will help our student athletes stay healthy and increase their performance in the arena of competition,” he said. “He brings a lot of energy and passion to the position, which will transcend to our student-athletes.”

He also has experience in collegiate strength and conditioning, having trained under former Tennessee Volunteers strength and conditioning coordinator Johnny Long and current Alabama coordinator Scott Cochran.

“I’ve gotten the chance to work with (Cochran and Long) and compare our philosophies with each other,” Herring said. “While there are a few differences between us, our core philosophy is the same.”

Herring said he believes his life’s work has built up to his hiring at UNA.

Herring pointed to the various motivational signs hanging from the rafters of the UNA Strength Facility and said while he works at a place with so much positivity, he never truly works a day.