Braden Welsh, Purdue's Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning, has been hired as Kentucky's next strength and conditioning coach, via Dan Issel on the Issel and Pratt's radio show. An official announcement is expected to be made later today.
The position had recently become available after Kentucky had parted with Rob Harris, who had held the title for the previous six seasons. After a combination of picking up a technical foul on the sideline against Tennessee, a series of injuries over the past couple seasons causing key rotation pieces to miss serious time, and off the court drama as well, John Calipari decided it was best for the program to move on.
Welsh, before arriving at Purdue, was the strength and conditioning coach for high school basketball powerhouse IMG Academy, before landing his first college at Temple in 2019. At Purdue, Welsh worked with Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey, two players who became two of the most physically dominant players in all of college basketball. Ivey, one of the quickest and most explosive players in all of college basketball last season, saw a huge rise in his game from his freshman to sophomore season and is now a projected top 10 draft pick. Edey, a 7'4" 290 pound center, was one of the most, if not the single most, difficult player to keep out of the paint in all of college basketball.
With all of the talent and pure athleticism that comes through the doors of the Joe Craft Center, it is exciting to see what Braden Welsh will be able to turn the team into physically. Some of Calipari's best teams in Lexington were those who physically dominated their opponents in all aspects of the game. With incoming freshmen like Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston, as well as returnees like Oscar Tshiebwe and Jacob Toppin, Kentucky has a chance to be one of those teams again.