Cal's New Strength Coach Brian Johnson Explains His Approach

Attention to detail and a willingness to evolve among the things Bears' new conditioning coach emphasizes
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Brian Johnson, Cal’s new head football athletic performance coach, considers himself a detail-oriented coach who is always evolving in terms of his strength and conditioning coaching methods.

“I’m always trying to find better ways to help the individual,” said the 36-year-old Johnson, “not some cookie-cutter program that we can just roll out and send to everybody in the country.”

Johnson was a defensive lineman at LSU, and spent the past three years as the football strength and conditioning coach at Arizona. At Cal, he replaces Torre Becton, who left Cal last month to become the director of football performance at Texas.

The Cal players he inherited were in the kind of physical condition he expected, given the circumstances and the layoff.

“I have experience with working with a team that hasn’t been to a bowl game, and because of the circumstances had a long layover,” Johnson said in the video above, “so it’s really what you expect from a team not coming off a lot of activity and COVID, where there aren’t a lot of gyms to go out and train.”

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox explained in the video below why Johnson was hired, saying, “It goes back to the fit and what our team needs.”

Johnson addressed a lot of issues in his session with the media Wednesday, and here are his video comments on some of them.

Johnson explains why he decided to accept the offer to come to Cal, noting his respect for Wilcox and the appeal of the area.

Johnson then outlined how he approaches strength and conditioning training, given the data and analytics available. He spoke specifically about progression and regression.

Johnson addressed how his approach might be different from other strength and conditioning coaches, noting the influence of the coaches he has worked under and his ability to evolve.

“This spring I’m not doing the same thing I did in spring 2020, because I think I found better ways,” he said in this video.

Finally Johnson noted that his job is a little more difficult because of the restrictions and unpredictability of COVID-19 and virus protocols. But he realizes everybody’s job is little different now.

Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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