Salazar to join USTA Player Development as Director of Performance

June 21, 2017 02:30 PM

By Sally Milano

Veteran NFL strength and conditioning coach Brent Salazar will be switching sports from football to tennis, joining USTA Player Development in the newly created position of Director of Performance.

In his new role, Salazar will oversee Player Development’s Strength and Conditioning team and will be responsible for optimizing the support that the USTA provides to American players with the "Performance Team" model.

Salazar will report to Paul Lubbers, Senior Director of Coaching Education & Performance, and will be based at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the USTA and its team of exceptional strength and conditioning coaches,” Salazar said. “I believe in Team USA, and I’m committed to developing champions. I applaud the USTA’s leadership for its emphasis on its players’ physical development, mental toughness and well-being.”

Salazar was the head strength and conditioning coach for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings during the 2016 season and, before that, spent nine years as an assistant strength coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.

A native of Denver, Salazar played college tennis at the University of New Mexico, from which he graduated with an exercise physiology degree in 2003. He also served as the assistant director of athletic performance at the University of the Pacific in 2006 and did strength and conditioning internships with New Mexico (2002-03), the Denver Broncos (2005) and UNLV (2005).

“It is not often that a National Governing Body has the opportunity to bring in someone as uniquely skilled as Brent Salazar,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman. “Brent's experience in tennis, strength and conditioning and performance team support makes him the perfect person for this position.

“Brent understands that developing champions begins with developing human beings, and that means coaching character first. He is a natural leader and is a perfect fit for our world-class team of strength and conditioning experts, including Satoshi Ochi, Rodney Marshall, Gabriel Echeverria, Jen Fallon, Gena Ball and Craig Acker.”