NIU conditioning coach Ohrt earns master title

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University Director of Sports Performance Brad Ohrt received the prestigious title of Master Strength & Conditioning Coach by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association.

“You have to hold yourself to a higher standard knowing you’re considered a Masters in this profession,” Ohrt said. “There are certain things people try to do on a professional basis, but this is one more thing that separates yourself.” 

Ohrt enters his 18th season in college football and his title of Master Strength & Conditioning Coach is recognition for his years of service in the profession. 

“The CSCCa does a couple different certifications,” he said. “Then, they offer another level to anyone that’s been a full-time collegiate or professional strength and conditioning coach for 12 years or more. They can apply to be considered a Master Strength & Conditioning Coach. It’s their way to distinguish those who had the extra years of service.” 

While Ohrt’s title is recognition for his service in the profession, it’s part of a bigger movement by the CSCCa and the NCAA to have all strength and conditioning coaches certified by August of 2015. All interns and graduate assistants will have to go through a practicum of 600-plus hours of certification, take a written exam, write a program, and defend and demonstrate they can teach that program properly to all the Master coaches. 

“This test is a lot harder to take and a lot harder to pass,” Ohrt said. “They’re trying to make this the gold standard for what the NCAA is trying to achieve with this August 2015 deadline.” 

While overseeing the entire strength and conditioning efforts of the 17 Huskie Athletics teams, Ohrt works primarily with the NIU football program. During his tenure, the Huskies have appeared in three-straight Mid-American Conference championship games, with the league title in 2011 and 2012. In addition to the team’s success, Ohrt has trained two league MVPs and one Heisman Trophy finalist.

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