Ohio State Football Strength and Speed Training

Given that Ohio State is now on top in football, curiousity got the best of me and I wondered what they did for training. The Michigan Alum that trains with me always tells me of the crazy program that the Wolverines use (HIT til you drop). So, I was wondering if Ohio State football did.

Couldn’t find too much, but I did find out that they do Olympic weightlifting and the famous Butch Reynolds (former 400m record holder) is in charge of speed training. See the bios of the “performance staff” below. Does anyone else have any insight into what they do? I do know that football has their own conditioning staff, unlike many other schools that have a pool of strength coaches that service various sports.


Eric Lichter is in his first year as Ohio State’s Director of Football Performance. The 31-year-old Lichter joined Jim Tressel’s staff this past June.

In his new role, Lichter will oversee all aspects of the Buckeyes’ strength and conditioning program and will emphasize speed, explosiveness and position-specific training. Ground-based training and Olympic style weight lifting also will be a major component in his program as he strives to improve the Buckeyes’ strength, reaction time, flexibility, balance, agility and linear and multi-directional speed.

Lichter was born in Connecticut but grew up in Arizona. He attended Weber State, where he played three years of football before graduating in 1997 with a degree in Lifestyle Management and Exercise Sciences.

Since graduation, Lichter has worked in the private sector as a personal trainer and consultant. He is a co-owner of Speed Strength Systems Training Centers in Avon and Euclid in northeast Ohio, where he has worked closely with a number of high profile athletes as they prepare for special competition and training such as NBA camps and the NFL combine. His list of former clients includes LeBron James, Joe Jurevicious and Ron Dayne, as well as Ohio State football standouts LeCharles Bentley and Nate Clements. He has trained more that 35 current NFL and NBA players, including 11 first-round and three top-10 selections.

“During my career, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of very talented athletes and to help them achieve their individual goals,” said Lichter. "Now, I have the chance to work with student-athletes at the collegiate level as they realize both individual and team goals. The team aspect of what I am now doing really excites me.

“I am thrilled, too, to be working with Jim Tressel. This is a very special opportunity for me and my family.”

Lichter and his wife, Annemarie, have two children: Tyler (8) and Ava (6). Eric’s mother, Linda Lichter Witter, is Ohio State’s synchronized swimming coach.


Former Ohio State track All-American Butch Reynolds, who in 1988 set the world record in the 400-meter dash and then went on to compete in three Olympic Games, is in his first year as a member of Jim Tressel’s football staff. Reynolds serves as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Buckeyes, specializing in speed training and nutrition.

“More and more in college football, speed is the element that separates the good teams from the great teams. We have good speed on this team. I believe Butch can help us become a team with great speed,” said Tressel.

“My goal will be to enhance the speed, agility, mobility and endurance of each and every player through a combination of speed training, aerobics and nutrition,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds set the world record in the 400-meter dash in 1988 with a time of 0:43.29. He competed in the 1988, 1992 and `96 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the 1,600-meter relay and a silver medal in the 400-meter dash in 1988.

Reynolds, a native of Akron, received his degree from Ohio State in 1991. From 1996 to 1998 he was an assistant track coach for the Buckeyes. He was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.

there head guy came from this place:
http://www.speedstrength.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=ss.programs, he learned under gayle hatch and ethan reeve. they really dont do anything special two ol days and two strength days with lots of sand and hill runs. butch dont really run the speed program but help prep guys for the nfl combine and tech work. they do ur normal lifts:

spilt jerk
bsq and fsq
single leg squats

i may be going there next year as G.A. strength and conditioning coach.

And they beat Michigan by 3 in the horseshoe…I would think that since Michigan does HIT the game would not be close :rolleyes: What are you guys gonna say if Michigan beats them in the title game?

when u recruit top talent it doesnt matter, the training just turn top talent into super top talent.

its a wonder why ohio state or michigan would even hire s&c coaches, they are only playing in one of the most competitive conferences in the NCAA, in the highest revenue generating sport and only have up to 6 years to mold talent, yea they should probably just drop the s&c programs they couldnt make a difference.

If that were to happen, I’d say overall talent wins out. OSU definitely has great talent but overall, as far as how they were rated coming out of h.s., UM has at least a slight talent edge. The team, particularly the d, has a number of both four and five star rated athletes.

Being that OSU is located in Columbus, i wonder if any of there football players train at Westside?

what have u been smoking bc i need some.

Over the last five years UM’s classes have been rated higher(as an average of the major recruiting/scouting services’ rankings) than O’s all but I believe one year.

those services are a joke.

? So you are sayng that they mean nothing?

not that, just over hype. look at how many of those guys end up bust.

Yes, some guys are busts and some guys that come from poor h.s. programs and are underdeveloped turn out to be stars.

Some of the guys are not always busts because they were overrated-injuries, poor work ethic, lack of opportunity due to being behind a stud, etc.

MOST guys that really turn out, that I’ve seen, were pretty well known by coaches, recruiters, evaluators while in h.s.

great points, we should start a new thread bc we are getting off topic?

Back to the topic, I asked some Buck fans about Reynolds and they said he was involved with the speed development portion of the s & c program for the entire year.

Where did you hear he was only involved with combine prep? I remember the features on him with their guys last year on espn/abc.

of course he was involved with the speed developement shit they pay him good money so i would hope he has some input, he dont design there speed program he will even tell u that, his main job is just teach sprint tech and take the guys through the programs

check ur message box

So you were just saying in earlier post that it’s not his program that he is carrying out except for the combine prep I guess?

thats what im saying even with the combine guys its not his program, most fb coaches will never let a track coach run there off season, we all know why.

Why? Are they afraid the players will get faster?