Report: Jeff Watkinson leaving Indiana

  • 06/08/2010 7:08 pm in

According to Chris Korman of The Herald-Times and The Hoosier Scoop, Jeff Watkinson, the men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach for the past four seasons, is leaving the program to train former IU guard Eric Gordon.

Watkinson joined the program under former coach Kelvin Sampson and received his master’s degree in exercise from IU in 1996. He also worked at Missouri, Clemson, Charlotte and College of Charleston.

Here are the details of his departure, according to Korman:

Jeff Watkinson, the highly respected strength and conditioning coach for IU basketball, has accepted a job working with former Hoosier Eric Gordon. He’ll be a personal basketball development coach for Gordon, who plays with the Los Angeles Clippers.

According to his bio on the IU Athletics site, Watkinson specializes in strength training, athletic development, conditioning and nutritional guidance. And by the way, this probably explains this tweet by Maurice Creek.

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  • AdamIU11

    Yes, I emailed Alex when I saw this tweet. Right after I emailed him I thought to myself, I cannot overreact to tweets like this…its probably nothing. Turns out someone WAS leaving so I do not feel so bad. However, I am concerned about the other person now…especially with the players not currently in town are supposed to be back this week.

  • millzy32

    Good for this guy getting a job with his buddy Gordon. I wish Gordon wouldn’t have been injured his freshman year. What a great player. Oh well everything kinda fell apart that year now didn’t it. I’m sure they’ll find an adequate replacement, IU has a great Kinesiology department. Love to see the guys bigger and stronger but don’t forget guys like Jobe who looked the part but didn’t exactly have the Basketball skills. Strength important but more of a plus than a mandatory requirement.

  • SeattleHoosier

    That's too bad. I understand Watkinson is great. Good for him though…sounds like an interesting opportunity!

  • JerryCT

    In my experience w trainers and injury rehab , the plight of ND football etc ………….. it would be a mistake to take his leaving lightly ……….. I wish him luck and then lets go get a person who exceeds the Cook Hall expectations ………… it can be well worth it

  • Kelin Blab

    Why does EJ hate IU so much, to offer their trainer 4X the amount of money to work for him. Just kidding, I wish jeff well and hope for the best for him. This headline threw me off with the name Jeff I thought Howard had left already…..geez.

  • BaseballBuc

    Too bad. He's the best in the country, I guess thats why he is getting a better job. I met him at assembly hall, what a great guy. I wish him luck, he will be missed.

    By the way Alex, I did switch to google chrome on my laptop. Night and day difference, log in is working great now!

  • OhioHoosier

    Love the Chrome


    Creek tweeted that TWO important people have left his life this week. Of course Watkinson is one of them but wonder who the other person is.

    Hope nothing bad has happened to someone close to him he has already had his fair share of bad luck.

    IU should spare no expense in hiring his replacement as we have already seen, unfortunately, how important having a high quality person in this position is to not only a injured player but to the team as a whole. Cook Hall with it's new facilities should also help in attracting a high quality person for the opening. Never thought about this being a benefit in this type of recruiting !!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    What was Tijan's major? He was ripped… (just gotta put some Brian Cardinal elbow pads on him when you set him loose)

  • Plane1972

    I agree. If Coach Crean can recruit high energy guys to be assistant coaches, you know he has to recruit absolute lunatics for strength and conditioning duties. Our team is in for a world of pain and hard work with this hire, which I'm sure will translate to the court.

  • Bryan

    Gordon definitely needs a good coach to counteract the long-term exposure he's getting to the Los Angeles Clippers. Best of luck to Gordan and Watkinson.

  • Kelin Blab

    Umm Bryan not to mention Denim Shirt just interviewed for the Clippers job. If Sampson gets that job it will be EJ's worst nightmare……

  • BFowler

    From my understanding, isn't the strength/conditioning coach the only person that can work with the team right now? I wonder how much of a set-back this will be…not only to the injured guys, but to the team as a whole (TP and too many Mrs. Field's or whatever).

  • Rick Danison to do the trifecta… IU Football, IU Track, and IU Basketball. The Man.

  • hoosierclarion

    There is a price to pay for having a one and done in your program. I have to believe there are many qualified and proven candidates available to fill this B10 opportunity. This area of study has really boomed the last dozen years or so. Coach Crean will find a high caliber performer to work in Cook Hall.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    According to a couple of Tweets I've seen, I don't think he's leaving tomorrow. I'm not sure of his exact date of departure, but I think he's sticking around IU for a little while longer (he was an IU grad, so hopefully he doesn't want to screw us over by leaving us in a lurch).

  • MillaRed

    I guess this is a logical step in terms of progression in the field. However, the opportunity to train with 15 college kids versus a single NBA guy? EJ or not it just sounds a lot less rewarding.

    Money talks.

  • When EJ gets out of LA he will be an all-star. Seems like a logical choice to me, as much as I hate to see him go.

  • Uncle Joey

    Ah, you're right about the Creek tweet with two important people leaving him… I guess I just assumed it was family or close friends, I really didn't think it had to do with IU basketball (but Creek's entire world is focused on basketball, so that makes sense).

    This is purely speculation, but do you think the other “important person” could possibly be a player? I've heard lots of talk about at least 1 player transferring before the season starts, so who knows…

  • Bryan

    Can't see the Clippers deciding on a coach until LeBron James tells them who to hire… right before he signs somewhere else. Is Sampson a World Wide Wes client?

  • marcusgresham

    It would be nice if he could get EJ to come to Cook Hall for the summer instead of going to him. I can't imagine he has a better home gym set up than the new digs on campus; also not like he isn't familiar with Bloomington, and it would do the current players a whole lot of good to play pick up games with him (and whomever he brings along with him,) for the summer.

  • kristheboss

    bloomington or LA for the summer…. with basically unlimited dough…hmmm

  • jayrig5

    Well, EJ has the USA Basketball camp at some point, too. So who knows what kind of timing this will have.

  • CutterInChicago

    I think we hire whoever was training Jim Rowinski and Steve Scheffler at Purdue. Sure, there may be some PEDs/steroids involved but those guys got massive while at Purdue.

  • marcusgresham

    Yeah, but Mom & Dad are just up the road. Hey, I'm wishfully thinking, here! And don't forget, he gets LA 9 or 10 months out of the year already.

  • Chsirish73

    I saw him at Champs in Indy tonight so who knows, could be in Indiana for the summer.