Bennie Wylie out as Texas S&C coach, Pat Moorer likely coming from Louisville

Stacy Revere

The first change to the Longhorns coaching staff was made Tuesday morning.

One of the early names consistently associated with making the transition from the Louisville Cardinals with new Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong is his strength and conditioning coach Pat Moorer.

On Tuesday morning, a tweet from former football strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie perhaps confirmed those suspicions, starting a day that could include a significant amount of news concerning Strong's staff:

A Texan who came over from Tennessee after working seven years at Texas Tech, the chiseled Wylie only achieved a modicum of success with the Longhorns, at best, as it seemed that the lack of autonomy from the oversight of longtime strength and conditioning coach Jeff Madden, who ran the entire program for the school, never quite allowed Wylie to make his own mark at Texas.

And since during the offseason, the strength and conditioning coach and staff are the extension of the head coach and coaching staff as the only group that can have contact with the players, it's unsurprising that Strong wants to bring along Pat Moorer.

A hire from South Carolina when Strong took the job at Louisville, Strong has ties to Moorer dating from the time that both were hired to the Gamecocks staff in 1999 as Strong earned his first defensive coordinator position.

Moorer was a walk on linebacker at Florida who won the SEC Freshman of the Year award, led the team in tackles for two years, and served as a team captain as a senior. Impressive.

Eventually the personal trainer for longtime Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith, Moorer also saw a brief amount of time playing in the NFL before returning to Florida in 1992. By 1995, he was the head of the strength and conditioning program in Gainesville.

At Strong's introductory press conference, the new head coach may have tipped his hand a bit about the upcoming change.

"Coach Moorer, the only thing I need to do is stand him up here because he never smiles. He's very intimidating," Strong said.

And since increasing the level of toughness in the program is a major point of emphasis for Strong, having a strength and conditioning coach he can trust is a paramount importance, a fact that may not bode well for Madden, who somehow managed to survive the purge of late 2010.

One of the ways that Moorer and Strong increase toughness is The Pit. Instead of watching practice, injured players work on whatever part of their body is still healthy in an attempt to make sure that players don't milk injuries.

For instance, a player on crutches might spend 60 minutes in a ditch shoveling or a player with an upper-body injury might undergo a grueling lower-body workout. Few players are interested in going through that for more than a day or two.

"That's his motivation," center Mario Benavides told the Louisville Courier Journal. "He wants to make The Pit harder than practice so maybe those guys that aren't as hurt as they act like would probably want to go back to practice faster."

In fact, the Pit is scary enough that Texas beat writers were asking Strong if there was any chance that they might end up in there. Strong replied that some of them might need to end up in there to find out how it is.

So while the hire of Moorer is not yet official, Texas football looks like it is about to become an uncomfortable place to be injured.

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