Tigers Basketball Names Evarist Akujobi Strength/Conditioning Coach
June 4, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Evarist Akujobi, who spent the past three seasons at Houston Baptist University, has joined the University of Memphis men's basketball staff as the program's strength and conditioning coach, head coach Josh Pastner announced Wednesday.
Akujobi comes to the Bluff City after serving as Houston Baptist's director of strength and conditioning from 2011-14. At Houston Baptist, Akujobi was responsible for the strength, conditioning and speed development for over 300 Husky student-athletes. He also was in charge of overseeing the daily operation of the Husky weight room, a staff of graduate assistants and an annual budget.
In addition to his Houston Baptist post, Akujobi worked as a volunteer for the NBA Houston Rockets strength and conditioning department, assisting with practices and gameday needs.
"We're excited about Evarist joining our staff," said Pastner. "He is a great fit for what our program's needs are. We welcome Evarist to the Tigers basketball family."
Prior to his time at Houston Baptist, Akujobi spent the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with professional basketball clubs overseas. In 2010-11, he worked with the Beijing Ducks basketball club of the Chinese Basketball Association, where he served as the organization's director of strength and conditioning. While in Beijing, he taught western-style exercise techniques such as Olympic lifting, plyometrics, agility and speed development to the Chinese players and coaches.
Akujobi held the same position with the Seoul SK Knights basketball club of the Korean Basketball League in 2009-10. During his time in Seoul, his primary responsibilities were in-season strength and conditioning, injury prevention and nutrition.
Before his overseas stint in Asia, Akujobi worked as an intern assistant with the San Antonio Spurs from 2007-09. He helped with the daily operations of the strength and conditioning department, worked with the sports medicine and equipment staffs and assisted with daily rehab. In the summer of 2009, Akujobi was named the Spurs summer league head strength coach.
Prior to his professional career, Akujobi worked in the strength and conditioning departments at St. John's University (graduate assistant), Georgetown University (summer intern) and Bucknell University. While at St. John's, he coached future PGA star Keegan Bradley and the Red Storm's fencing team that finished as the 2007 NCAA runner-up.
In 2004, Akujobi founded his freelance personal training company, F.A.S.T. - Fitness Athletic and Speed Training. Through F.A.S.T., he worked with several NBA players, including Tracy McGrady, D.J. Augustine, Marcus Williams and T.J. Ford.
Akujobi also is in the beginning stages of forming a non-profit that helps young, aspiring strength coaches learn more about the business.
An Arlington, Texas, native, Akujobi earned his bachelor's degree in exercise science from the University of Houston. He will finish his Master's in Sports Studies from the United States Sports Academy this summer. Akujobi is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), USA Weightlifting (USAW) and the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM), and also is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Sports Performance Coach (USAW Level 1).