Aug. 26, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Former New York Knicks assistant coach Greg Brittenham has joined the Wake Forest athletic department as the Director of Athletic Performance for Men's and Women's Basketball.
Brittenham, who spent the past 20 seasons with the Knicks as an assistant coach for player development and team conditioning, will work directly with the Demon Deacon men's and women's basketball programs overseeing the teams' conditioning and strength training.
"We just hired the best Director of Athletic Performance for Basketball in the nation," said Wake Forest head men's basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik. "Greg is one of the most respected leaders in his field. Originally hired by Pat Riley to be his strength and conditioning coach with the New York Knicks over 20 years ago, his record of training athletes at the highest level is unparalleled. Greg will have a huge impact on making our players better, stronger and more explosive basketball athletes."
"We're delighted that we were able to attract someone with Greg's skillset and qualifications," said women's basketball head coach Mike Petersen. "I really believe we hired maybe the best basketball strength and conditioning coach in the country. His energy level and commitment to our players is going to be significant in not only their ability to improve as individuals but also as a group."
Brittenham joined Pat Riley's first Knicks staff in 1991. He was a member of the Knicks coaching staff for both the 1994 and the 1999 NBA Eastern Conference Championship teams. Brittenham also holds the distinction of having worked under four different coaches with at least 1,000 career wins (Riley, Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown).During each offseason, Brittenham and his family travel to Alaska to help with an organization called Challenge Life, which works with native Alaskan youth emphasizing the importance of health and fitness, academic success, drug and alcohol education awareness and community and cultural heritage.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to join the Wake Forest strength and conditioning staff and work closely with the men's and women's basketball programs," said Brittenham. "Wake Forest has a great reputation in college athletics, and from what I've seen they have some of the best strength and conditioning programming in the country. I can't help but imagine that any athlete who comes to school here will improve their athletic potential regardless of the sport with the staff we have in place.
"With that said, the strength and conditioning program is only as good as the effort put in by the players, and I've been impressed with how hard they have been working. There is a definite feeling of team and of trust. If the players don't trust that I have their best interest at heart, their progress will be limited. So far, we trust each other and I expect great things from both teams."
Brittenham also authored a book on athletic development, Complete Conditioning for Basketball, which has been published in over 15 languages. He is also working on a second edition of a core development program book.
Prior to joining the Knicks organization, Brittenham spent three years from 1988-91 as the Director of Athletic Development at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport in Indianapolis.
A native of Boulder, Colo., Brittenham graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in education with an emphasis in physical education and geography. He went on to earn a master's degree in kinesiology from Indiana University Bloomington in 1990.
During his undergraduate days, Brittenham competed in decathlon events at the University of Colorado and then at Nebraska-Kearney.
Brittenham's father, Dean, is one of the most respected athletic strength and conditioning professionals in the country and is a 50-year veteran of the field.
Greg and his wife, Luann, have a son, Max, and a daughter, Rachel. Max graduated from Mount St. Mary's in 2011 and was a four-year letterwinner as a righthanded pitcher on the baseball squad. He now plays professionally in Belgium. Rachel is a junior point guard and captain on the Wofford basketball team.