A familiar face from the Kentucky men’s basketball bench joined the Kentucky Dad Podcast this week.
Head strength and conditioning coach Rob Harris blessed us with some of his time to discuss the role he plays within the men’s basketball program, as well as his role as a father to his two daughters, Anaya and Alaya.
Despite being a Kentucky Wildcat, Rob is from the 502 and considers himself a proud Louisvillian native. He’s a graduate of Manual High School and Kentucky State University, then received his master’s degree in sports administration from Eastern Kentucky in 2010.
During his career, he’s spent time perfecting his craft as a strength coach at several impressive stops, including Ohio State, Arkansas and even the Cincinnati Bengals. He’s even had the honor of being ejected from a game by Doug Shows.
Now entering his seventh season as a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Kentucky, you can imagine some of the incredible talents that Rob has had the opportunity to develop since arriving in Lexington.
If you’ve ever listened to the podcast, then you know we try our best to stay away from direct sports questions. However, I couldn’t help but ask him what his initial impressions were of this current 2020-2021 group.
His comments are sure to get the Big Blue Nation fired up about this season.
Without spoiling it too much, I’ll just say that he mentioned this squad could be one of the most athletic teams top to bottom that he’s coached since arriving at UK.
To put that in perspective — take a look back at the last six Kentucky basketball rosters and imagine this team being labeled as the most athletic.
Wow — that’s exciting!
Rob also stated that he’s been impressed with the work ethic of this team and their desire to be great. The pandemic has prompted more one-on-one work in the weight room to maintain social distancing, but it doesn’t sound like the guys are missing a beat from a strength and conditioning standpoint.
As you can imagine, Rob’s time with the players in the weight room allows him a chance to get to know the players on a personal level, and often times, they mix in some fun.
I really enjoyed recording this episode of the Kentucky Dad Podcast with Rob Harris, and I think you will too.
His story of growing up in the “hood” as he put it — to achieving tremendous success in his field is nothing short of remarkable.
The journey all began with him proactively emailing coaches around the country just looking for an opportunity. Nothing was given to Rob Harris. He went out and did exactly what he tells his players to do — work hard for it. Being “uncomfortable” was something he talked about being important to him, not just physically, but mentally as well.
“That’s the only way you grow.” Rob said.
He put in work grinding as an intern and can now say he played a part in developing some of the best basketball players in the world.
We also took some time to discuss his views on racial injustice and how the team has chosen to speak up about it. I appreciated the honest dialogue and his candidness.
Appreciate all the dialogue to my question yesterday. End of the day. Respect each other, protect each other, and let’s try loving each other (even if you disagree on things). Let’s really be on the same TEAM #kentuckystrong
— Rob Harris (@RobStrong621) July 11, 2020
So the next time you see Coach Rob on the bench, remember, he’s not just a world-class strength coach. He’s a heck of a person too. He also promised to catch up with us again sometime this season, so be on the lookout for that!
Please make sure your following us @BigBlueDrew33, @RobStrong621 and @KentuckyDadPod on Twitter. Be sure to check out on the show on iTunes.