Hello: Shannon Turley, Strength & Conditioning Comment Count

Brian January 4th, 2015 at 7:29 PM


First reported($) by 2016 OL commitment Erik Swenson to Scout and later confirmed by many places, including a lot of Stanford players: Shannon Turley, the Cardinal's Director of Football Sports Performance, is taking the same job at Michigan.

Turley has been at  Stanford for eight years, arriving with Harbaugh and staying on after his departure. He first met up with Harbaugh the year before they made the move to Stanford, with Turley taking an equivalent job at San Diego.

Turley is an ideal candidate. Stanford built its program by taking lightly recruited guys and turning them into half-hog, half-demon, all-man on both sides of the line. The first wave of Stanford NFL hits came from the two- and three-star ranks of Walt Harris's recruiting: after consecutive drafts that saw no Stanford players taken, Toby Gerhart was a second rounder in 2010 and a TE and FB went in the seventh round. Since, Stanford linemen and backs have been regular features—13 in the last four drafts, with few of them four-stars and exactly zero true blue-chippers (ie, top 50-ish players with a raft of offers).

Turley has been a large part of that success. Credited as an innovator whose techniques have drastically reduced Stanford's on-field injuries

From 2006, the year before Turley arrived on the Farm, as Stanford’s campus is known, through last season, the number of games missed because of injury on the two-deep roster dropped by 87 percent. In 2012, only two Cardinal players required season-ending or postseason surgical repair; this year, only one.

…Turley was named the 2013 S&C coach of the year and scored a New York Times encomium just over a year ago that described his Chip-Kelly-esque approach to making his players functionally strong and resilient:

His approach is grounded in physics, on the premise that low man wins on contact, that to get low requires mobility and stability and the ability to apply force in the opposite direction. His players bench press, but he cares more about how they lift — with hands closer together, without bouncing the bar off their chests — than how much. He wants them to bend all the way down when they squat.

Freshmen in Turley’s program do not lift weights upon arrival. Instead, for the first few weeks, they do “body work,” or push-ups and pull-ups and squats or lunges without weights; basically old-school, military calisthenics.

“You have all these different genres of training, and we steal from them all,” Turley said. “CrossFit. Bodybuilding. Power lifting. But ultimately, it’s none of those. It’s a system we’ve developed to train football players.”

Turley builds "real-world applicable man strength," and has done so at the place having the most success at doing so relative to recruiting expectations in the country; he has been doing it for eight years. He's young and innovative, but experienced. He's intimately familiar with Jim Harbaugh. He is currently the subject of an outpouring of well wishes mixed with regrets from current and former players on Twitter…

…and he's headed to Ann Arbor.


We have some!

Here's a podcast featuring Turley as well, and an extensive Bleacher Report article that's worth your time.



Well, with Stanford DC Lance Anderson suddenly a thing again despite the fact that DJ Durkin is, according to Sam, in town means many things are possible. Michigan's coaching staff is now this Sportscenter commercial:

RIP Stu Scott

We should know most of the names by tomorrow or Tuesday, with maybe two or three spots (RB, TE, DBs) still to settle.



January 4th, 2015 at 8:52 PM ^

Here's a quote from the diary "Improving Athletic Performance" posted on October 30, 2014:

"Let's begin by considering a comment from Blueinsconsin. He noted there's "incompetence at the top of the program", and made a really good, if somewhat unlikely suggestion, that we "steal Shannon Turley from Stanford". Bluesnu provided this informative link to an article about Turley: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/sports/ncaafootball/stanfords-distinct..."

The diary continued:

"Shannon Turley at Stanford is one of the tops in his field. Some of his innovations are now being practiced at all levels, even well received by the NFL. He employs dynamic, multi-planar methods of training, and utilizes a functional movement metric (that is, he monitors and tests for flexibility and range of motion) to gauge the progress of his players."

Props to Blueinsconsin and Bluesnu.  Credit where credit is due.

carlos spicywiener

January 4th, 2015 at 8:32 PM ^

Of all the hires we have made or are in the process of making, for coach Harbaugh's staff, including him himself- this may be the biggest get of all.

Fantastic hire and bodes extremely well for Michigan can become in 2-3 years. No longer will MSU push this group around.


January 4th, 2015 at 8:30 PM ^

I can't believe I sat through that entire video that was basically a bunch of dudes stretching and lifting weights.


I'm super enthused about this hire.  Since, and I'm not exaggerating, all of our players blew their ACLs last year, getting some one in here who knows a little something something about cutting injuries seems fantastic.




January 4th, 2015 at 8:56 PM ^

This all reminds me of the excitement surrounding Mike Barwis when he was hired. I hope we see a noticeable difference at the line of scrimmage this time.

M_Born M_Believer

January 4th, 2015 at 9:24 PM ^

Up til last night. JH had not talked to Durkin. Durkin is in Ann Arbor. It is interesting that Anderson's name is coming up now. Either way I am cool with ever JH decides to hire as his DC.


January 4th, 2015 at 9:29 PM ^

The reduction in injuries and focus on useful strength in a game rather than records to put on a locker room board sound great.

I am wondering if Anderson means Greg M is a LB (or DL) coach and Anderson and Durkin co-DCs.


January 4th, 2015 at 9:37 PM ^

I watched the vid of the San Fran S&C guy rumored to come here, and I have just watched the Stanford S&C guy vid. The San Fran guy showed NO fire, the Stanford guy looked like he knew his shit!! Great hire JH... GO BLUE!!


January 4th, 2015 at 10:35 PM ^

I will not be snoozing in the morning, boys!

Definitely excited about strengthening up our lines and more excited about the prospect of fewer injuries.


January 5th, 2015 at 12:02 AM ^

If he does in fact stay at Stanford, it's safe to assume that they simply matched or beat our offer at the eleventh hour.  Despite the fact that Stanford doesn't have much of fan base, they have some well-heeled donors that care enough about that program to write a blank check to keep someone they want.  Congrats to the man on his new raise.



January 5th, 2015 at 12:42 AM ^

As the cry of sources confirming that Turley isn't coming becomes more impossible to ignore, and as the Marrow and Anderson also begin to seem more unlikely, I find myself tempted to feel a bit more demoralized than I ought to this close to the Hapenning.  But Coach Harbaugh only asked us one thing, that everyone who is for Michigan be for Michigan.  I'd gotten my hopes up for Turley, but i trust Harbaugh to bring in someone who can do for Michigan what Turley has done for Stanford.  I am for Michigan, and I trust our coach.


January 5th, 2015 at 12:58 AM ^

I'm sure he knows a lot of young and up coming S&C coaches to chose from who will do a great job at Michigan! Hard to believe that Marrow would not come to a much bigger program like Michigan. Turley probably has family out in CA that he does not want to leave.


January 5th, 2015 at 3:48 AM ^

Im sure Stanford and Kentucky countered heavily with offers once rumors were out since each of these coaches would be devastating losses to their programs.

If Hackett is involved I'll bet its not quite over...but flipping at this point would be very difficult.


January 5th, 2015 at 6:05 AM ^

Dear Harbaugh: Contact Mike Boyle who is a leading voice in Functional Strength coaching (which is what Turley does) and find an up and coming protege looking for an opportunity.

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