Andrea Hudy is her name and, according to (former Deadspin Bentern) Ben Cohen's nice profile in the Wall Street Journal, she is believed to be Division I's only strength and conditioning coach who is simultaneously female. Hudy began her career at UConn, where she worked with both the men's and women's basketball programs.
Players past and present have sung her praises with former Huskie and current Detroit Piston Ben Gordon going so far as to say "[t]here's no question she had as much to do with us winning [the 2004] national championship as anyone." Former Jayhawk Marcus Morris insists he would not be in the NBA were it not for Hudy. Jeff Withey, Kansas' seven foot center, has called Hudy "one of our secret weapons." Prospective players know who she is and consider her presence when deciding to go to Kansas.
The secret to her success, apparently, is her ability to tailor workouts to the individual and push players while also providing a level of support perhaps not always present in high stakes college athletics. Gordon told the Journal that it was a weird combination, but she filled the roles of both strength and conditioning coach and "mother figure."
Like so many NBA players, Withey attributes his progress to Hudy's simultaneously no-frills but sympathetic approach. Hudy used to bar him from the weight room until he stuffed himself with enough calories. She still makes his protein and Muscle Milk shakes-his favorite flavor: strawberry-and keeps the big man company while he chows on breakfast burritos.
While Hudy may be rare, the founder of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Boyd Epley, thinks she's going to help balance out the numbers. She is the best at what she does and "[y]ou see the results on TV when you watch Kansas."
The Jayhawks' Secret Weapon [WSJ]
Image via KU Athletics