Dillman strengthens Gators’ culture in weight room

Will Muschamp called his 2011 team soft following a 7-6 season in 2011, but after this past season, he said his team was no longer soft.

A large part of that has to do with the new strength and conditioning coach that Muschamp brought in last January.

Jeff Dillman was hired away from IMG Academy to replace Mickey Marotti who left to join Urban Meyer at Ohio State.

Though Dillman was the new guy around the program, players took notice of him quickly and seniors like Josh Evans have had high praise for the change he’s implemented.

“Hands down coach Dillman was the best strength coach I have ever had,” Evans said. “He pushed me to the limit not taking anything away from Coach Mick, he was good too, but Dillman pushed me to be the best. He makes sure we take care of our bodies and are eating the meals we need.”

Dillman is known for his Olympic style workouts and Evans credits him for helping them prepare for the fourth quarters this season.

“Coach Dillman was more with the explosive lifts and with that we were able to fight through the fourth quarter this season,” Evans said. “That was one of the things that stood out from training with him from doing more Olympic lifting and having him build up the core and our lower body more.”

After Meyer left the program and Florida went onto a 7-6 season in 2011, the team wasn’t the closest group.

However, Evans said the way Dillman handles his workout program forces players to become closer and it also makes players enjoy working out.

“He makes workouts more interesting,” Evans said. “You would come in there and not everybody does the same thing in the weight room, but Dillman would bring his high energy in there and it just makes working out fun and enjoyable. He knows that we aren’t there to become body builders but to become better football players, and that’s what makes you enjoy it and makes you want to get bigger faster and stronger.”

Florida fans know that Muschamp is a high energy guy that isn’t afraid to let his emotions show,  and it’s no surprise that Dillman shares similar qualities.

Evans said that Dillman has Muschamp’s same energy level and there isn’t a day you don’t see Dillman’s energy.

“Man, he is a high energy guy,” Evans said. “He is one of the guys that you come into the weight room, and he sees you’re having a bad day and he just brightens up your day. You never see him having a bad day, and he may have had a bad day but he would never show it. He is just so high energy that he knows how to make you laugh, but he knows when to be serious, too.”

Though his energy stands out to Evans and other players, Dillman’s ability to relate to players is something that Evans sees more than anything.

“He is like a second father figure to me,” Evans said. “He stays on you and motivates you to do better. He is honest with everyone and tells you that you can be better or that you aren’t giving you’re all. That’s just the type of guy he is.”

While Muschamp is known for phrases about overcoming adversity, Evans said Dillman has a few saying of his own.

“I’ll never forget some of the things he says in the weight room,” Evans said. “But he says, ‘Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!’ more than anything.”

Evans has a short message for Dillman as he moves on to the NFL.

“Coach Dillman has helped the University of Florida so much,” Evans said. “I’ll never forget him and never forget what he has done for me.”

Previous articleWho’s the Gators’ recruiter of the year?
Next articleGators women’s hoops falls to Lady Vols in overtime
Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.