Marotti Follows Meyer To OSU
December 05, 2011
Even before the official announcement of the Urban Bowl – the pairing of Ohio State and Florida in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 2 – the connection between the programs had strengthened.Ea
Or, as UF fans might see it, the traitorous migration from Gainesville to Columbus continued when head coach Urban Meyer landed strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti and put him in the same role at OSU.
Marotti will replace Eric Lichter, who was hired by Jim Tressel in 2006 to head up the football program’s conditioning program. A couple high school prospects intimated last week that the move already was in the works and Florida head coach Will Muschamp confirmed it over the weekend.
Marotti began making a name for himself as a strength coach at Grove City High School and worked his way into prominence at the college level thereafter. Meyer lured him away from Notre Dame in 2005 and gave him heavy responsibility to push and mold players at Florida. Together, they churned out several star, NFL-ready players and won a pair of national championships there.
Last year, Marotti was the subject of a glowing New York Times piece in which he was quoted as saying, “We do things different here. We train them different, practice different, talk to them different and motivate them different. Look what you’ve done. That’s what you want to be a part of.”
Marotti, 46, is close in age to the 47-year-old Meyer and has, perhaps, an equally impressive resume for a person of his field. The two met at Ohio State in 1987 soon after Marotti graduated from West Liberty State. He hails from Ambridge, Pa., and played fullback in college.
Marotti became a graduate assistant in the strength and conditioning program at Ohio State under former head coach Earle Bruce. He stayed on campus after Bruce was fired at the end of that year and graduated from OSU in 1988 with a rare degree – a master of arts in strength and conditioning.
He would earn another master’s degree in sports medicine at West Virginia University while serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at that school. Ticketed to eventually become the head of his own strength and conditioning program, Marotti landed that gig at the University of Cincinnati in 1990 and stayed at UC for eight years and overseeing the training for 20 different varsity sports, including football and men’s basketball.
In 1998, Marotti moved on to a similar role at Notre Dame under Bob Davie and was reunited with Meyer. When Meyer left ND to become the head coach at Notre Dame in 2001 he tried desperately to coax Marotti to join him.
This time, Meyer was able to bring Marotti back to Ohio. Lichter is schedule to leave his post after the bowl game and Marotti will begin to work on Buckeye players in the offseason.
OSU fans are hoping for rapid results, especially when it comes to the Buckeye linemen who have shown a lot of wear and tear in recent years.