Top Dawgs: Scott Cochran

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Top Dawgs: Scott Cochran

Photo: You Tube screen capture
Photo: You Tube screen capture

Scott Cochran first introduced himself to most Georgia fans back in September 2008 as Alabama prepared for a contest with the Dawgs in Athens. “They are wearing black because they are going to a #$%ing funeral,” Cochran remarked. He was right, the game was a funeral for an ill-prepared Bulldog squad.

Cochran, who is a two-time National Strength Coach of the Year, was hired to the Bulldogs’ staff after spending 13 years at Alabama as the Tide’s head strength and conditioning coach.

Cochran was on Nick Saban’s staff for all six national titles, as he served as an assistant at LSU in 2003.  Nationally regarded as one of the best in the area of strength and conditioning, Cochran received one of the highest honors in his field when he was named the 2011 Samson Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year, as featured in American Football Quarterly.  He earlier was named the Samson Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year following the 2008 season.

georgiadogs.com

Fast forward twelve years and Scott Cochran, with that primal football spirit still driving him, wanted to move from strength and conditioning to on-field coaching. Nick Saban did not find a spot for Cochran, but Kirby Smart wasted no time nailing down a commitment from his old friend and one of the key cogs in the Bama machine.

Famous for his thunderous “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” chants, Cochran has long been credited as a huge reason for Alabama’s success, running the program’s “Fourth Quarter Program” and working closely with players throughout the year.

“I don’t think there’s any question. He’s second in line,” former Alabama offensive lineman Mike Johnson previously told ESPN. “If Coach Saban is the father of the program, (Cochran is) the stepdad.”

AL.com

To a casual fan, the hype about Cochran’s intraconference move may seem a bit overblown. After all, Mr. Cochran has been a career strength and conditioning guy. How could his addition as a special teams coach grab so much attention around the country? Simple, it is the energy.

Let’s not forget the single-minded drive for championships. In this video Cochran comments on a runner-up trophy.:

Scott Cochran is about exciting, encouraging, motivating, pushing, and dragging (if necessary) players to explore their limits. Although his title at UGA will be Special Teams Coordinator, he will not be buried with punters and kickers at practice. He will be everywhere, that gravelly voice rising thunderously from various position groups as he moves and motivates.

At Alabama, Cochran was called the “soul” of the team, a moniker that I fully expect him to earn at UGA.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.