Chip Kelly explains what a sports science coordinator is

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday February 12, 2013

Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 12, 2013

When Chip Kelly announced his staff, there was an interesting position listed: sports science coordinator.

Shaun Huls has the position. In his previous job, Huls trained Navy SEALs.

So what exactly is a sports science coordinator? Kelly explained at his weekly press conference

"The game of football has evolved, and I think we as coaches have to evolve with it," Kelly said. "To always harken back to 'Well, we did it because that's how it's always done,' I never bought into that theory, in my mind. I want to know why we do things, and everything we do, whether it's the athletic room, the conditioning room to anything that touches this football team.

"And the only answer I won't accept is because we've always done it that way. If you look back just 50 years ago, people trained in football weren't allowed to have water during the game. There was a bucket on the sideline and you had a ladle and you scooped it out, and you had a sip, but if you drank water you were soft.

"Obviously, we've evolved from a science standpoint, and I think there's a lot of other sports that have evolved faster than football has evolved from a science standpoint, and we want to be on the cutting edge of that."

With Huls' military background, will Kelly run the Eagles through a boot camp, as many college teams do?

"I'm not going to have face paint on, I can tell you that," Kelly said.  "No, just the fact that he's been there in recent years. He also started off as a strength and conditioning coach at Nebraska, Nevada and the collegiate ranks. I just think it's a different experience that he brings to the table.

"Are we planning on attacking another country? No. We have enough trouble with the other 31 teams in this league."

You can watch Kelly's press conference by clicking here.






Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to