Kurt Hester named Tulane Director of Strength and Conditioning

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Kurt Hester

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University football announced today the addition of Kurt Hester as the program’s new Director of Strength and Conditioning. The Tulane University alum brings over 25 years of experience to the Green Wave.

Over the course of his collegiate athletics career, Hester has worked with 14 NFL draft picks at LA Tech as well as seven All-Americans and 57 All-Conference USA First and Second Team selections as well as eight players who have garnered specialty awards — Cody Sokol (2014 C-USA Newcomer of the Year), Jeff Driskel (2015 C-USA Newcomer of the Year), Ryan Higgins (2016 C-USA Most Valuable Player), Carlos Henderson (2016 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year), Jaylon Ferguson (2018 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year), J’Mar Smith (2019 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year) and Luke Anthony (2020 C-USA Newcomer of the Year).

“We could not be more excited to welcome Tulane alum Kurt Hester to our football program,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “Kurt brings an incredible amount of experience to our team. He has trained elite level athletes at both the collegiate and professional levels and I can’t wait for him to get started working our players to help elevate our program to even greater heights.”

“I’m beyond excited to be back in the middle of the Tulane family and to build a nationally recognized performance department as well as serving the football student-athletes and staff,” Hester said.

Hester arrives at Tulane he spent the past nine seasons at Louisiana Tech University where he worked under the direction of former head coach Skip Holtz.

“Kurt (Hester) brings passion, intensity, knowledge and a commitment to excellence,” Holtz said. “He develops a great rapport with the players and as a strength coach, he’s about functional flexibility and strength. I think he does a phenomenal job.”

During his tenure at Louisiana Tech, Hester played a pivotal role in guiding the Bulldogs to seven straight bowl appearances (2014-20), including six straight bowl victories from 2014-19 which was tied for the fifth longest streak in FBS history.

Hester joined Louisiana Tech after he served as a National Director of Training for the D1 Sports Training Center in Nashville, Tennessee – a position he began in 2008. He worked with training several professional athletes from leagues such as the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL) and the NFL Combine classes.

In addition to his tenure at D1 Sports Training, Hester also worked as the Director of Training at the Manning Passing Academy as he designed a training program for over 1,300 high school athletes and delivered a specific training seminar for high school and college coaches.

“Kurt was a valuable member of our Manning Passing Academy staff,” former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning said. “The energy and enthusiasm he possesses for teaching was always a welcome addition. His reputation working with elite athletes at the high school, collegiate and professional levels speaks for itself and I know he will be a perfect fit for Coach Fritz’s football program at Tulane University.”

From 1997-2008, Hester was the owner and Director of Performance at HS2 Athletic Performance in Mandeville. He developed and mentored area coaches for college and professional coaching careers with several going on to BCS-level schools and NFL teams. Over 500 athletes he worked with received collegiate scholarships during that time as he oversaw the development of over 400 junior and senior high students per day.

Hester was an assistant strength coach at LSU from 1995-98, working with the speed development program for then-football coach Gerry Dinardo and worked primarily with the LSU baseball team as it won two national championships under legendary coach Skip Bertman. Hester also worked with the men’s basketball, women’s soccer and women’s golf programs as well as with the varsity cheerleaders.

In addition to his work with collegiate athletes, Hester spent time training with Navy SEALS. He graduated from Tulane University in 1995 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in exercise physiology. He also served as a graduate strength coach at Tulane for two years.

Hester has certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association and also has his Speed Agility & Conditioning certification as well as his Level 1 certification from the United States Weightlifting Association.

Hester is married to the former Seana Durman. The couple have three children: Sydney, Rieleah and Remy.

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Tulane University is located in the city of New Orleans. It is a city built on tradition and resiliency. The lessons Green Wave student-athletes have learned through their connection with this university and city have BUILT doctors, lawyers, business leaders, conference champions, all-conference players, All-Americans, professional athletes and NCAA tournament teams. The city of New Orleans has shaped us into who we are today. We are One City. We are Tulane. We are NOLA BUILT. Check out our story at NolaBuilt.com.

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