This will be a several part series dedicated to getting to know the coaching staff for the Carolina Panthers. Beginning with the guys that are mostly behind the scenes and never get much publicity (unless you make a hair brained move like former Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi a few years back when he stuck out his knee and tripped the “gunner” on the Dolphins’ punt team during a game). But that’s not good publicity and will more than likely get you fired. Hopefully, all coaches were able to learn from his mistake and this won’t happen again.
No need to worry about anything like that from the coaching staff of the Panthers. Let’s take a look at the Panther coaches who make sure the athletes are in top shape and less prone to injury.
Joe Kenn – Strength and Conditioning Coach
PLAYING AND PERSONAL Kenn was a two-year starter at guard for Wake Forest from 1987-88 and earned the Bill George Award as the Demon Deacons’ standout lineman as a junior. He was also recognized as the school’s weightlifter of the year and an All-American strength and conditioning athlete by the National Strength and Conditioning Association ( NSCA) as a senior.
He graduated from Wake Forest in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in health and sports science, added his strength and conditioning specialist certification in 1990 and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Boise State in 1993.
COACHING Kenn began his college coaching career at Wake Forest, his alma mater, in January 1991 as the assistant strength coach. Later that same year, he went to Boise State as a graduate assistant and remained there for eight seasons. Promoted to the Broncos’ strength and conditioning coach in 1994, Kenn was named the (NSCA) Big West Conference Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in 1998.
In 1999-2000, he was the director of strength and conditioning at Utah . During his tenure with the Utes, Kenn coached future Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith and tackle Jordan Gross. He received accolades as the NSCA Mountain West Conference Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in 2000.
Kenn spent the next seven years at Arizona State (2001-07), serving as the head strength and conditioning coach for football for two seasons before being promoted to head coach of sports performance in 2003 and overseeing all sports. While with the Sun Devils, he worked with future Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and earned yet another award as the NSCA College Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year in 2002.
From 2008-09, he was the director of athlete development at Louisville, working specifically with the football program. In 2009, he was recognized as a master strength and conditioning coach by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association.
After nearly two decades of experience at the college level, Kenn came to the Panthers in 2011 from Big House Power Competitive Athletic Training, where he coached professional, college and high school athletes and teams from several sports.
Known simply as “House” to players, Joe Kenn’s goal as the Panthers’ strength and conditioning coach is to protect and produce: protect the athletes’ body armor and produce athletic based results. He employs a holistic and integrated philosophy in his comprehensive training plan utilizing strength training, explosive development, high intensity interval training and performance-based nutrition. This structured approach enhances the players’ physical attributes.
Guard: Wake Forest 1987-88. College coach: Wake Forest 1991 (winter/spring), Boise State 1991-98, Utah 1999-2000, Arizona State 2001-07, Louisville 2008-09. Pro coach: Joined Panthers in 2011.
Jason Benguche – Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
PLAYING AND PERSONAL
Benguche (pronounced ben-goo-chi) played offensive line for Springfield College from 2002-05, earning Division II/III All-New England honors from the New England Football Writers Division his senior year. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science from Springfield in 2006 and earned a master’s degree in health education from Florida State in 2008.
COACHING Benguche was a student assistant with the University of Massachusetts football team in the spring of 2005. He then served as a graduate assistant for the strength and conditioning program at Florida State from 2006-07 as well as strength and conditioning intern at IMG Academy in 2006.
During his first two years at Georgia Tech (2008-2009), he worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the football, swimming and diving, and men’s tennis teams. His final three years (2010-2012), he served as assistant director of player development for football. While with the Yellow Jackets, Benguche designed and executed strength and conditioning programs focused on athletes’ strength, power, speed and movement.
Jason Benguche brings extensive knowledge in athletic development to Carolina’s strength and conditioning program, helping strength and conditioning coach Joe Kenn prepare the Panthers for the highest level of performance. This season (2013), will be his first as a Panthers coach.
Offensive lineman: Springfield College 2002-05. College coach: Massachusetts 2005 (spring), Florida State 2006-07, Georgia Tech 2008-12. Pro coach: Joined Panthers in 2013.
NEXT: Special Teams Coaches