Joe T: Georgia strength program ‘better off’ with hires of Thomas, Armstrong

Georgia head strength coach Joe Tereshinski (center) introduces assistants Sherman Armstrong (L) and John Thomas.

Georgia head strength coach Joe Tereshinski (center) introduces assistants Sherman Armstrong (L) and John Thomas.

ATHENS — Three weeks after hiring two major additions to his staff, Georgia strength and conditioning director Joe Tereshinski sat down before reporters on Tuesday to explain his motives and detail his plans.

Tereshinski, 58, took over the Bulldogs’ strength program in January of 2011 after serving as an assistant strength coach and video coordinator for the previous 29 years. After losing three of his assistants since the end of the 2011 season — a fourth will be departing for another job soon — Tereshinski brought in John Thomas from Penn State as senior associate director and Sherman Armstrong from Tampa as an assistant and speed specialist.

“The University of Georgia was very fortunate to get John Thomas to come down from Penn State, where he was the head strength coach for the last 20 years,” Tereshinski said. “I feel like I pulled off the biggest coup ever to bring this man here to work with me.”

Of Armstrong he said, “I kind of went outside of the box, so to speak, as strength coaches go, to recruit a man who understands, speed, quickness, agility and can teach it. Had his own company and has many clients who are now playing in the NFL. . . . He has devoted his life to speed and Georgia is better off to bring in a man who can teach that to our players and to me.”

Four of Tereshinki’s five assistants have either already left or are on their way out to pursue other opportunities. Tereshinski scoffed at the notion that it’s because of discord or dissatisfaction. Rex Bradberry, an assistant since 2002, told The AJC on Monday he’s leaving to train U.S. Army Special Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C., later this spring. Thomas Brown took a job as an assistant football coach at UTC, Keith Gray accepted a position with the Philadelphia Eagles and John Kasay returned to retirement after the bowl game. Only Tony Gilbert, a former UGA linebacker (2000-02) who joined the staff before this past season, will be sticking around for a second season.

Tereshinski scoffed at the notion there is any discord or dissatisfaction within the program.

“It just kind of unfolded that way,” he said. “Keith got a great opportunity to go to the Philadelphia Eagles and doubled his salary. Rex has got a great situation where he’s going to go train our Special Forces and he’s very excited about that and he’s going to hit a windfall financially also.  So it was something they had to do and wanted to do to grow their careers.”

When Bradberry leaves, Tereshinski will have one more full-time position available under new NCAA legislation that limits strength staffs to five full-time employees. He said he hasn’t decided what direction he’ll go in with that hire.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “Because I have John and Sherman and Tony, that may be one position where we just go with a G.A. (graduate assistant). In our profession you have to have a door open to bring in young people and allow them to learn under the best and allow them to keep our profession growing. I’ll get with Mr. McGarity and see how he feels about it and with John and Sherman and Tony. When Rex finally does make that move we’ll handle it then.”

Meanwhile, Tereshinski believes he has assembled a staff that puts Georgia on the cutting edge in strength and conditioning.

I feel like they’re going in the direction I’d like them to go, very much so,” Tereshinski said. “I think Coach Richt does, I think our coaching staff does. We’re just going to continue chipping away at developing these kids. Our emphasis still is to win the fourth quarter. If you’re the strongest, most powerful team in the fourth quarter, your chances of winning the game are pretty good.”

Here’s some comments from Tereshinki’s new charges . . .

JOHN THOMAS, strength and conditioning director at Penn State for 20 years:

On his ‘high-intensity training philosophy . . .

“It was really a combination of my core beliefs and what Coach Paterno wanted and what the staff wanted, to be honest. My version of high-intensity is we’re going to use whatever apparatus — whether it’s a dumbbell, kettle-bell, barbell, heavy object, machine – whatever it is, we’re going to use it in a safe, very-intense fashion. And we’re going to try to get the most out of whatever exercise we’re doing at any given point in time. And that’s really it, to put it in its simplest terms.”

On having to work under someone after being the top guy for two decades. . . .

“For the 20 years I was at Penn State, I never felt I had an ego. I hope I don’t have an ego, so coming down here and being part of this group has not been a difficult transition. I’m actually looking forward to it and have been pretty excited about it to this point.”

On being out of the chaos that was Penn State this past year . . .

“It’s a breath of fresh air to be at a place, to be honest with you,  whereI found out the head coach I worked for for 20 years and the head coach that I’m working for now have a lot of the same qualities and characteristics. You’ve got great men who care about the programs they work for and they care about the kids they’re coaching and teaching and care about the universities that they’re working for. There’s a lot of characteristics with Coach Paterno and Coach Richt that are very, very similar. So that was very refreshing for me.”

On what Paterno meant to his career. . . .

“It was an honor to work for him. As far as what he had done for my family and me professionally, there’s too much to talk about. We’d be here way too long. He’s had a definite impact on me and my coaching philosophy, how I handle the athletes, how I handle people, how I deal with media. He’s had a big impact on all that.”

SHERMAN ARMSTRONG, former founder and chief performance specialist of VAST (velocity, agility, speed, technique). Armstrong was a four-time All-American and 2000 Big Ten Athlete of Year at Illinois and an Olympic Trials finalist in the 400-meter hurdles.

His observations of Georgia’s overall speed and athleticism . . .

“There are some phenomenally gifted athletes and they really do want to get better. They have already seen much improvement in strength. Now they want to know what else can I do to get better. I’ve definitely been impressed. There’s a lot to work with but there’s a lot of work to be done.”

On how he ended up at UGA after training professional athletes in Tampa . . .

“I really hadn’t sought it out. I left a business that was very successful But when it came in front of me, I saw it as a huge opportunity to be a part of a major athletics program like Georgia.”

On whether he sees his training as ‘outside the box’ . . .

“For me being a speed person, I don’t think it’s outside the box. But as a university football program it could be viewed as a little outside the box because the general parameters of strength and conditioning has always been the weight room and warming the guys up and getting them ready and that’s pretty much it. Of course conditioning is another element to it. But it’s outside the box from the standpoint that there is a specific day and a specific time designated to what I do so it could be view that way.”

61 comments Add your comment


April 10th, 2012
6:09 pm


April 10th, 2012
6:22 pm

Great read here, Chip! I like the pick-up of Armstrong, because the SEC is known for it’s speed on defense, and with teams like Bama and LSU, we need all the help we can get! I wonder what their staff looks like…. Go Dawgs!! BTW- Glad to have Deas back, we need him!


April 10th, 2012
6:25 pm

Tony is my cousin.


April 10th, 2012
6:28 pm


Big Enos Burdette

April 10th, 2012
6:29 pm

But can they get to Texarkana and back with a load of Coors?


April 10th, 2012
6:32 pm

Hines Ward to fill the open position and get on the field and do some real coaching.

Destin Dawg

April 10th, 2012
6:33 pm

lets get in shape for the 4th qtr…. O line especially.. to run the ball and continue to score.. rather than.. run the clock out when the score is close.. KILLER INSTINCT !!!

Jeremy Wallace

April 10th, 2012
6:35 pm

Winning the fourth quarter usually means a win. I personally would love to not be as anxious during fourth quarters as i have been in recent years.I’m not sure if my fingernails can make it through another fall like those.

Frank Lane

April 10th, 2012
6:38 pm

Speed, speed, speed. It kills.

tide roll

April 10th, 2012
6:46 pm

Y’all suck. Tell me that guy to Joe T.’s right didn’t know about Sandusky. What a program! Y’all just hired a guy from Penn St.! Geez. What a program.

tide roll

April 10th, 2012
6:48 pm

left. geez what a program.

Thomas Brown = Mr Negativity = 13-1 East (blogger) = Techie

April 10th, 2012
7:05 pm

@tadpole (6:48)
Hey meathead… are right, “what a program”!!! P.S. CMR has a winning record vs. Saban and Bama. Yes indeed, what a program…..bozo!!!


April 10th, 2012
7:07 pm

Good article. I like the direction.

Bama Fan

April 10th, 2012
7:09 pm

@Tide roll
You embarrass all Bama fans…..please shut up!!!!

Mountain Dawg

April 10th, 2012
7:10 pm

Since when has speed become teachable?

Send'em Uhauls

April 10th, 2012
7:15 pm

Wow …..the ole “cutting edge” mantra used for a sinking program. lets get real people and quit kidding ourselves. Richt must GO!


April 10th, 2012
7:27 pm

Yes indeed you can teach speed and quickness.


April 10th, 2012
7:30 pm

I think this is a huge improvement to our coaching staff. Many of our previous strength and conditioning coaches were young and inexperienced. We now have a more mature staff with light years more experience. This is great news.. Go Dawgs!!!


April 10th, 2012
7:45 pm

Don’t let him fool you. Tide Roll is really a Tech fan.


April 10th, 2012
7:46 pm

Send’em Uhauls is really a Tech fan


April 10th, 2012
7:54 pm

We shall see. Maybe this could be the fastest and strongest UGA has ever been


April 10th, 2012
8:15 pm

I want lto see an improvment before I bet the farm. I highly approve of Armstrong and the other guys seem pretty capable, but I’ll believe it when we put 21 on S.C. Show me don’t tell me. How many games did we lose last year in the second half? Prove it, don’t tell me, cause when I see it, I’ll believe it…


April 10th, 2012
8:20 pm

My bad… When we put 21on S.C. in the fourth quarter…FOURTH AS IN FINAL QUARTER…


April 10th, 2012
8:23 pm

Since Speed is the name of the game in the SEC, Armstrong makes lots of sense…


April 10th, 2012
8:46 pm

Oh look, UGA got more S&C coaches…that’ll make the difference.

What a joke. Won’t be long now until the UGA fans will be claiming the MNC because of the hiring of two lame S&C coaches.

LOL, 32 years and counting…whew that was a long time ago. Stone age. Ancient.


April 10th, 2012
9:17 pm

10 of 11 and 1 commit for next year and GTFan is bashing UGA. Gotta love it.


April 10th, 2012
9:24 pm

Now they just need to figure out why all the pulled hamstrings!

Grantham's the man

April 10th, 2012
9:31 pm

Hey Chip, If Ga did hire Heinz Ward for the vacant S&G job, is there any rule against him helping out with recruiting and other coaching assignments?


April 10th, 2012
9:41 pm

GTFan, perhaps you should try trash talking on a Duke board where your comments may have some relevance.10 out of 11 , tech has 15 wins vs UGA in the past 55 years. Pj driving the ramblin wreck straight to hell and you folks keep cheering him on, please give him the Hewitt lifetime contract deal.
I would hate for Ga Southern or Navy to take him back.

Kracka Dawg

April 10th, 2012
9:47 pm

OMG.. Is any one left to play in the G day game?? Between suspensions and injuries??? Is it really worth seeing…. Is it really worth playin… Playin guys who will rarely see the field… What a huge diasappointment!!!!


April 10th, 2012
9:52 pm

Hines Ward for the open spot to come. He can teach the guys grit and determination.


April 10th, 2012
10:16 pm

Big Ten strength with SEC speed…OMG! Go Dawgs!!!!


April 10th, 2012
10:47 pm

i hope that the new blood will generate some strong finishes in the 4th qtr, but what about all the hamstring injuries this spring? how many are going to be out of G day game due to some form of pulled muscles?

Dawg Haus

April 10th, 2012
10:56 pm

These hires make a lot of sense. Hoping we see the results in the 4th next season.


April 10th, 2012
10:59 pm

We love Joe T’s “old school” approach… but love it even more that he’s bringing in a speed guy… and wants to learn from him.


April 10th, 2012
11:06 pm

tide roll is a tech fan living vicariously through Bama, one very sick individual.


April 10th, 2012
11:07 pm

Kracka dawg, no ones gets suspended for G day, perhaps Kracka tech would better suit you.

Reporter Dawg

April 10th, 2012
11:22 pm

Tide Roll, looking forward to the butt-kicking of Bama when UGA finally does travel down there. All those Geoegia signees are gonna pay dearly for signing with Bama and accepting the benefits from the Bama boosters in Atlanta (especially the one associated with Norcross High. Oh yes, we know about ‘ole Harvey, and so will the NCAA in the next couple of weeks). Three straight wins in Tuscaloosa coming soon.

Reporter Dawg

April 10th, 2012
11:23 pm


April 11th, 2012
12:34 am


Cobb Dawg

April 11th, 2012
2:52 am

SOME, actually a lot, of Bama and *AU fans crack me up. Both are actually football programs with sub-standard colleges attached. The only kids who go to either school are the ones who a) can’t get into better schools like UGA, or b) are kids who just want to be associated with college football. And 75% of Bama fans never attended college of any kind but wear Bama crap from head-to-toe. Get lives (and education) Bama and *AU fans. I’m so glad that I live in a state that has much more to offer than college football and NASCAR!

A Father

April 11th, 2012
3:31 am

Hey tide roll, we missed you at the tickle pile last night. The way you tell the Dwags they suck really has me excited and looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.


April 11th, 2012
7:19 am

After reading this article, I will be happy to reverse my opinion on our S&C program. At least for me, they deserve to prove their new approach is on the right track. I really hope they are correct and produce 4th quarter wonders!!!!!!

tide roll

April 11th, 2012
8:01 am

Isn’t Joe T. from Pa. This guy’s probably a friend of the family. Let’s see, Booboo, McGarity, Cavan, Joe T. and now this guy. It’s like a family owned business up there. I’ve got a cousin who went to Uga who needs a job. I’ll have him call McGarity. When asked about the hires, Coach Richt commented: “Oh, whatever.” “I’ve got more important things to worry about.” “For example, Should I get my hair tinted BEFORE the tanning bed or after?” You guys are getting RIPPED OFF.

tide roll

April 11th, 2012
8:11 am

Joe T.’s and the UGA philosophy: Let’s forget athletes like Brndon Greene. Let him go to Bama. Let’s bring in Bynum from Valpoet High, and let this guy work with him. We’ll have an OL just like Penn St. or better yet, Kansas St.! It’ll be just like when I was playing. Coach Dooley will love it, and Coach Richt doesn’t give a crap. Think of all the Dawg fans from Albany, Macon, and Hahira. They’ll be lining up to see these big ole white boys! Things never change at UGA, do they? 31 years and countiing, and with former UGA players like Booboo and Joe T. in decision making positions, it might as well be a HUNDRED..


April 11th, 2012
8:15 am

Sounds great, but conditioning and strength don’t matter if your special teams stink allow runbacks (and TDs) regularly. I haven’t heard of one thing from Richt about solving his STs problems.

Richt could hire a ST coach with about 2 weeks worth of his salary ($115K).


April 11th, 2012
8:33 am

Joe T needs to be the OL coach!

Blade runner

April 11th, 2012
8:40 am

I read the Story and i read the comments and i realize that this is all a smoke screen. And some of you who are commenting dont have a clue of whats going on. I have a friend that actually was a part of the strength staff. I am a die hard Georgia Alum, I bleed Red and Black and to read this makes me feel bad for the players and those guys who have came before. To say that the program is better off is a slap in the face to the guys who used to be on the Strength staff. I know we live in a world where everything is supposed to be so politically Correct but lets just state the facts. Keith Gray is a Master Strength Coach Rex Bradberry has a PHD and knows everything that have to do with the body. The guys have been with the program for over a decade and were very underpaid. They leave to get better paying Jobs because the head stregnth coach doesnt want to give them a raise, he says its not in the budget. Then you go out and Hire 2 New guys and give one 140k and the other 85K. Try to be trasparent and think of how that would make you feel as a person, then factor in that both these guys are MORE qualified Keith and Rex that is than Coach Terishinski who only jobe for the last 23 years was being the Video Coordinator and is actually not even Certified and has no real experience!!!! Dont get lost in the smoke screen, he says its no discord or dissatisfaction, of course it is, when you dont take care of strangers before you take care of family its certainly gonna be a problem. Those players loved and Respected Keith and Rex. Both were part of bringing our program back to life!!! All these NFL guys how have went to the draft the last 10 years Keith and Rex were the guys training them. Then you throw in Thomas Brown, great running back, NFL veteran, Tony Gilbert great Linebacker, 7 year NFL veteran,, these guys were trained by Keith and Rex, both are on the Strength and Conditioning trophy.. People Dont get BAMBOOZELED!!!!!!! Our strength and Conditioning program is in trouble!!!! Go ask any of the guys heading into the draft now what they think about the program,


April 11th, 2012
8:45 am

Aaron Murray ranking 7th in the SEC in passer rating and pass effic in the 4th quarter didn’t help Joe Terishinski much. As a matter of fact, Murray’s 2nd half td/int ratio, accuracy, and passer effic was also 7th.

Losing the 4th quarter, and poor 2nd half results, was more on Murray than Joe Tereshinski.

At some point, coaches strategize, and players are accountable for execution.

tide roll

April 11th, 2012
8:48 am

The better question is: What in the hell are Joe T’s credentials? Oh I see he played at UGA. Oh, then it’s ok. WHAT A JOKE OF A PROGRAM.