Kent State introduces new coaching position for basketball programs

Stephen Means

As part of its initiative to push the basketball programs to the forefront, Kent State’s Athletic Department has announced the hiring of a head strength and conditioning basketball coach. 

Newly-hired Rhen Vail will focus solely on the men and women’s basketball team.

He was previously the department’s assistant strength and conditioning coach for various sports, as well as a graduate assistant while he pursued his master’s degree in sport and recreation management. 

“Creating support staff positions that are basketball-specific strategically aligns with our goal of gaining ‘national distinction’ through our men’s basketball program,” said Joel Nielson, Kent State’s athletic director, in a university news release. “The investment made to create the MAC’s first basketball-only strength position, in addition to our basketball-only academic counselor, is a direct reflection of the priority we place on the student-athlete experience at Kent State. This is one of many future steps the athletics department will implement as a part of our strategic vision “Game Plan” announced earlier this year.”

Kent State’s game plan was originally announced in March, showing the athletic department’s plan for growth over the next four years. 

“We are really excited to have Rhen as the MAC’s first basketball-only strength and conditioning coach,” men’s basketball head coach Rob Senderoff said. “Rhen has showed great enthusiasm to work with our student-athletes, and I look forward to the positive impact he’ll have on our players’ development.”

Grad assistants Sean Lockwood and Mary Catherine Powers have been promoted to full-time strength and conditioning roles as well. 

Contact Stephen Means at [email protected].