College Football's Most Recognizable Get-Back Coaches

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2020

College Football's Most Recognizable Get-Back Coaches

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    Adam Smotherman and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables
    Adam Smotherman and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent VenablesJeff Gammons/Getty Images

    In any number of sports, coaches often lose track of the sideline. They wander onto the basketball court, drift onto the soccer field or stray across the white lines in football.

    Over the last decade, the "get-back" coach has progressed into an essential piece of college football.

    Strength and conditioning personnel tend to occupy this role. While they are important on game day, S&C coaches are often assigned this responsibility because the head coach, coordinators or position coaches have a more direct impact in that moment.

    It's not difficult to spot these sideline-protecting coaches, but several have landed national attention in recent years.         

Ryan Russell, Auburn

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    Perhaps his role is nearing a change in 2020, but Ryan Russell has reined in Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn lately.

    After serving Auburn as a graduate assistant coach in 2005-06, Russell joined the staff in 2010 and spent 2012 as the director of athletic performance at Arkansas State. He followed Malzahn back to The Plains in 2013 to lead the strength and conditioning program.

    This offseason, Malzahn promoted Russella former Arena Football League playerto executive director of football operations.           

Brady Brohm, Purdue

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    With the aid of strength coaches, Brady Brohm has the unofficial task of keeping his dad, Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, in check.

    The younger Brohm first took on the responsibility while Jeff coached at Western Kentucky, per Andy Greder for the Pioneer Press.

    According to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune, Bradya sophomore in high school next yearis constantly around the Purdue program. He's indirectly involved with recruiting, among other volunteer tasks.

Quinn Barham, Ohio State

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    Mel Evans/Associated Press

    One decade ago, Quinn Barham spent his weekends as a leader of the Penn State offensive line. He also chased the NFL dream with the Detroit Lions in 2012.

    But as he climbed the professional ladder at Ohio State, Barham found himself in the get-back craze.

    Barham joined the Buckeyes in 2016 and has served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. He also shadowed defensive coordinator Greg Schiano before Jeff Hafley oversaw the Ohio State defense last season.

Scott Sinclair, Georgia

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    Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    Kirby Smart brought some Alabama assistants to Georgia in 2016, but he reached into Conference USA for strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair.

    And since leaving Marshall for the SEC, Sinclair has added "get-back coach" to his resume.

    Sinclair rose to prominence in his secondary role during the 2017 season's national championship. Throughout the game, it seemed every sideline shot had Sinclair holding Smart.   

Aaron Feld, Oregon

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    Alika Jenner/Getty Images

    Burying the lede is irresponsible: You see that mustache.

    Aaron Feld caught the nation's attention while at Georgia in an assistant strength and conditioning position. Almost immediately after the national championshipa timely coincidence, for sureOregon hired Feld as its strength and conditioning coordinator.

    The mustachioed man soon became head coach Mario Cristobal's belt-grabbing force and has since become more active on the sideline.     

Adam Smotherman, Clemson

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    Not only has Clemson become a national powerhouse, but Dabo Swinney and Co. also helped popularize this get-back coach trend.

    As with many coaches, defensive coordinator Brent Venables gets excited and is known to drift onto the field. During a game in 2014, according to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, a referee cautioned Swinney about a penalty.

    Enter Adam Smotherman.

    Swinney pointed to the assistant strength coach, giving him the task of keeping Venables on the sideline. Smotherman, who played defensive tackle at Vanderbilt, has continued to occupy this game-day role through the 2019 season.