Since 2011, Matt Hewett has been helping shape and mold Tennessee Tech’s student-athletes as a member of the strength and conditioning staff.
And with Casey Kramer moving on to the professional sports level as the assistant strength coach for the National Football League’s Chicago Bears, when Tech needed to find a replacement for Kramer, the Golden Eagles knew they already had their man in Hewett, promoting him Friday to Tech Athletics’ new Director of Athletic Performance.
“I’m just really excited to get the opportunity to follow my mentors in Casey and (former Director of Athletic Performance) Chip Pugh,” Hewett said. “I am committed to building up Tennessee Tech Athletics and our student-athletes for many, many years to come.”
There’s no question that Hewett is the right man for the job.
As a former Ohio Valley Conference student-athlete, he is familiar with the day-to-day grind student-athletes go through each day.
He is a top-level CrossFit athlete who has been ranked in the open classification as high as 65th nationally, ninth in the Central East division and third in the state of Tennessee, as well as two first-place team finishes for the CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup championship with CrossFit Mayhem in 2015 and 2016, as well as a runner-up finish in 2017.
He’s also been a member of the Tech athletics staff since 2011, so it has allowed him to build great relationships with the coaches, administrators, student-athletes and fellow strength staff. He has been able to see first-hand what the student-athletes at Tech are capable of and how to build that to a whole new level.
“When we learned that we needed to find someone to fill in Coach Kramer’s shoes, we knew that we weren’t going to have to look far,” said Tech director of athletics Mark Wilson. “Matt has been a tremendous asset for Tennessee Tech and has built such a great rapport with our student-athletes and coaches. We are excited to watch him help our student-athletes soar to greater heights.”
Hewett graduated from UT Martin in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in health and human performance with a concentration in exercise science and wellness, earning cum laude honors. He followed up with a master’s degree from Tech in exercise science, physical education and wellness in 2014.
While as a student at UT Martin, Hewett served as a strength and conditioning intern in 2011 until his graduation in December that year. He spent the first half of 2012 as a strength and conditioning intern at Tennessee, then finished out 2012 and worked through May 2014 as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at Tech until he completed his master’s degree.
Following his graduate work, he was promoted to the assistant strength and conditioning coach. He assisted Kramer with administering strength training and conditioning workouts with the Golden Eagle football team, while also designing and administering the same for the Tech baseball and volleyball teams. He taught Tech’s student-athletes Olympic lifting techniques as well as speed and agility drills.
He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Following in the footsteps of Kramer and Pugh, Hewett has learned from some of the best in the field.
“I hold those guys up with the highest of regards,” Hewett said. “I have looked up to those guys since I’ve been here. I came in as a GA here, then Casey hired me as his assistant, so I just think the world of those guys. They helped mold my career and I’m excited to follow their path.”
Having the experience so far with Tech also gives the new head strength coach an insight into what the Golden Eagles are capable of and what they can improve on.
“Absolutely,” Hewett said. “One of the toughest things is building relationships with your athletes, and I think I have done a good job of that in all the sports I have worked with – baseball, volleyball, golf, football – and I’m looking forward to working with some new sports, including women’s basketball. I’m just really excited about the opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”
Hewett currently resides in Cookeville. He was married to the former Brooke Mussard of Cookeville on Aug. 9, 2014.