FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ben Herbert has been selected as Arkansas’ head strength and conditioning coach, head football coach Bret Bielema announced Tuesday.
“Ben Herbert has transformed countless student-athletes and his system has become known by those on the next level for producing individuals with toughness and an incredible work ethic," Coach Bielema said. “He has a strong background in what we want out of our strength and conditioning program, and he has shown a great ability to produce results with energy and passion. He is focused on details and consistency and is always thinking outside the box to come up with new, improved ways to make our student-athletes better. He oversees a comprehensive plan that extends beyond the weight room, and our student-athletes will benefit from his instruction.”
Herbert joins the Razorbacks after spending the previous 11 seasons working in strength and conditioning at Wisconsin, including the last four as head strength and conditioning coach. He started his career as an intern during the 2002 season following his playing days at Wisconsin and was promoted to assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2003. He was involved in all aspects of sports conditioning for the football team during his time with the Badgers.
In his 15 total seasons at Wisconsin, he was part of 14 bowl appearances and five Big Ten championships. The Badgers claimed three straight Big Ten titles and became the first Big Ten team to appear in three straight Rose Bowls since Michigan following the 1976-78 seasons by making the trip to Pasadena following the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons.
During his time with Wisconsin, Herbert helped develop 41 NFL draft picks, including six first-round selections. Defensive end J.J. Watt and offensive tackle Gabe Carminiwere both taken in the first round of the 2011 draft, and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler was picked 27th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. The Badgers also produced five national individual award winners, including 2012 Doak Walker Award recipient and the NCAA record-holder for career touchdowns Montee Ball, 28 All-America honors and 48 first-team All-Big Ten selections in his 11 seasons on staff in Madison.
Wisconsin’s work with Herbert was evident in the fourth quarters of games, when the Badgers outscored opponents 435-309 from 2009-12. The team’s strength and conditioning work also was apparent late in the season, as Wisconsin was 15-5 in games played in the month of November or later during Herbert’s four years as head strength and conditioning coach and outscored its opponents 856-442 in games played in November, December and January.
Herbert was a four-year letterman on the defensive line at Wisconsin, which won two Rose Bowls during his time as a student-athlete. He holds the Wisconsin bowl record for most tackle for loss and sacks yardage and is tied for the school’s bowl record for sacks after collecting 2.0 sacks for 20 yards lost in the 2000 Rose Bowl victory over Stanford.
A native of Pittsburgh, Herbert earned his bachelor’s degree from Wisconsin in 2002. He is a member of the (NSCA) National Strength and Conditioning Association and the (CSCCA) Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.