Rob Oviatt to Resign as WSU's Assistant Athletic Director for Physical Development

July 25, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University Assistant Athletic Director for Physical Development Rob Oviatt will resign from his current position effective Aug. 1, 2008, Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced today.

'This was an excruciating decision professionally, but an easy one personally,' said Oviatt, who plans to stay in Pullman and dedicate more time to his family. 'I want to thank Jim Sterk and (Senior Associate Athletic Director) Pam Bradetich for their significant help and support during this process, as well as the entire physical development staff at Washington State University. I also especially want to thank the student-athletes for their commitment and sacrifices. They destroy the myth that kids nowadays aren't willing to work. They'll do anything you ask as long as they know you sincerely care about them and see that they are physically improving.'

Oviatt began at Washington State March 14, 2000, when he was named the Cougars' Director of Physical Development, overseeing WSU's 17 varsity sports programs. He was appointed Assistant Athletic Director for Physical Development in 2004.

'Rob has been an integral part of Washington State athletics for the past nine years and has made a tremendous impact on the student-athletes he has been associated with during that time,' said Sterk. 'His commitment to the student-athlete is at the forefront of his thoughts and the improvement of WSU's athletic programs over the past decade can be attributed to his guidance.'

A 2003 inductee into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame, Oviatt was elected president of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association at the 2004 CSCCA convention.

'I will continue my lifelong commitment of doing anything I can to further the strength and conditioning profession as well as our professional organization,' Oviatt said.

In 2001 Oviatt received the CSCCA's highest honor, being named the master strength and conditioning coach at the organization's annual convention. Oviatt has also received the Ulysses S. Grant Sharp Award at the 2003 Holiday Bowl luncheon, voted on by the WSU players.

He also serves on the association's Board of Directors, and was appointed to the Board of Advisors for the Taylor Hooton Foundation for Fighting Steroid Abuse in 2003.

'This fall I am going to decompress from 27 straight years of a regimented schedule, travel and spend some quality time with family and friends,' said Oviatt. 'I have been very fortunate in my professional career and benefited from the help of countless people along the way. More importantly, I have built relationships that will last forever.'

Oviatt began his career as a volunteer assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Alabama from 1978-79, during the tenure of legendary coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant. He went on to serve as a volunteer assistant for strength and conditioning at the University of Mississippi from 1981-83, serving as a weightlifting instructor in the physical education department.

He went on to Texas A&M in 1983, working as a graduate assistant strength coach, and then filled the same position at the University of Houston in 1984.

Oviatt became the coordinator of strength and conditioning for all sports at Oregon State in 1985, and remained with the Beavers until 1995. In June of 1988 Oviatt toured Russia and Czechoslovakia with a group of American strength coaches.

In 1995 Oviatt moved on to the University of Kentucky, where he served as the coordinator for football strength and conditioning. During his tenure with Kentucky, which lasted until 1998, Oviatt was twice named the Southeastern Conference's strength coach of the year, voted on by the league's strength coaches.

Oviatt went to Louisiana State in 1999, serving as the coordinator for strength and conditioning for all sports until 2000, when he started with WSU.

Oviatt, a native of Wooster, Ohio, earned his bachelor's in physical education in 1980 from Alabama, and received a master's of science in exercise science from Mississippi in 1982.

Oviatt is the father of four children, Lindsay, Allison, April and William, and is married to the former Kathleen McCance.

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