Thursday, August 15, 2019

Longtime KU basketball strength coach Andrea Hudy leaving Kansas

Trainer Andrea Hudy jokes with freshman Josh Jackson as the players get stretched out prior to the start of Boot Camp in the practice gym on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 just after 6 a.m.

Trainer Andrea Hudy jokes with freshman Josh Jackson as the players get stretched out prior to the start of Boot Camp in the practice gym on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 just after 6 a.m.


Longtime Kansas basketball strength and conditioning coach Andrea Hudy is leaving KU for a job at Texas, both Hudy and Kansas coach Bill Self confirmed to the Journal-World late Thursday night.

In a text message to the Journal-World, Hudy said she planned to leave Lawrence sometime Friday, closing the book on a 15-year career at Kansas.

Viewed both by those in the program and the adoring KU fan base as a critical part of the Jayhawks’ success during the past 15 years, Hudy, after nine years as the men's and women's basketball strength coach at UConn, was hired by former KU athletic director Lew Perkins in 2004.

She spent her time helping build and shape the Kansas basketball roster with everything from old-school hard work in the weight room to cutting edge technology that made her a leader in the industry and one of the most respected people in her profession nationwide.

In 2013, Hudy was named the National College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. A few years later, in 2017, she was awarded with the NSCA's Impact Award, given annually to someone who has contributed to the advancement of the industry.

“I’ve worked with her as an athlete, I’ve worked with her as my patient and I just have the utmost respect for her and I just love her to death,” said former KU shooting guard Tyrel Reed upon learning about Hudy’s departure. “She pushed us so hard to be as good as we could in the weight room and on the court, and I just always knew she was one of the best in the profession.”

Reed, now a physical therapist at OrthoKansas, said Hudy not only helped him grow and perform as a basketball player but also played a role in helping him find his chosen career path.

“She played a huge part in me deciding what I wanted to do with my career as a physical therapist,” Reed told the Journal-World. “She was just always someone I could bounce ideas off of or talk to about strength and conditioning and physical therapy and I was lucky to be around her. I think any time you lose somebody who’s been so integral in all the success we’ve had, I think that’s obviously a big deal and I wish her nothing but the best as she moves on.”

No official announcement about her departure has come from either KU or Texas, but sources told the Journal-World that official word could come as soon as Friday.

News of Hudy’s departure comes a few months after KU’s athletic department restructured its health care plan for student-athletes by shifting to a new model that led to Hudy and roughly 40 other employees working for the newly formed Kansas Team Health, a joint venture that includes the KU athletic department, The University of Kansas Health System and LMH Health in Lawrence.

All of the former KU employees impacted by the change began reporting to medical professionals at KU Health System instead of athletic department officials.

Former longtime KU football trainer, Murphy Grant, another accomplished professional in the industry, recently left KU for a similar job at Wake Forest.

In a text message exchange with the Journal-World late Thursday night, Self said he did not yet know what direction he would go as he searches for a replacement for Hudy.


Kyle Neuer 3 years, 3 months ago

Way to go, bureaucrats. You just couldn't leave something that was working alone, could you.

Len Shaffer 3 years, 3 months ago

Way to jump to conclusions, Kyle. You have absolutely NO idea if that's the reason she left ...

Joe Black 3 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like he is blaming the idiots that changed everything that seemed to be working just fine and now have driven two outstanding professionals to leave the university.

Michael Sillman 3 years, 3 months ago

I assume that the decision to reorganize came from the top. Hopefully some reporters will be asking Girod and Long whether they anticipated the change resulting in the loss of some good people.

Frank Dunn 3 years, 3 months ago

Losing Hudy is terrible - but losing her to another Big 12 program doubles the pain.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 months ago

Forgot that Lou brought Hudy from UConn.

We're gonna miss her. And Murphy.

Hopefully the restructuring isn't so bad that we can't get great replacements. My guess it is still an exceptional position working with elite programs, coaches, and athletes that will attract top quality candidates,

Ryan Mullen 3 years, 3 months ago

I always felt her impact was overrated. We will find someone else and be just fine. Look how many players over the past 5 years have gone down to serious injury. For example Embiid, some of the blame has to be put on her.

Ryan Mullen 3 years, 3 months ago

Plus what impact did she have on the womens team here? Virtually none. How many championships did the women's UCONN team win after she left?

Joseph Bullock 3 years, 3 months ago

What piss poor timing!!! And to a Conference foe! 😡 Ryan Mullen, are you serious? There are injuries everywhere! She is the best at what she does. Also, Texas would not be hiring her if she was overrated!

Brad Avery 3 years, 3 months ago

Self needs to intervene. This is garbage.

Deb Fitch 3 years, 3 months ago

How do you not have hard feelings about her going to Te$ sad...hope the rest of your career is ho hum.

Ryan Mullen 3 years, 3 months ago

You know she is a strength and conditioning coach, not a head coach? I wish her well but, it will be business as usual here.

Keith Gellar 3 years, 3 months ago

Don't really think this is a big loss. I've said it repeatedly (as have some other posters on here) - IMO she was way overrated. Don't get me wrong - she was definitely good at what she did, but didn't really do anything that separated her from her peers apart from that fact that she is female, but i'm not even considering that.

At the beginning of the season, pics are posted of the bball players looking 'swolled' but that never translates to the games. We've continued to experience injuries consistently to our key players. Our guys have looked slower and less athletic when compared to other teams esp in the tourney.

again, not seeing what she did that put her above and beyond. i think this is a much needed change. we need someone new

Dan Philipps 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't think this will be the end of the world. KU should have no issues recruiting a new top notch strength and conditioning coach. I'm more interested in 'why' Hudy and Grant left ... Is it because of the new Team Health program? I wish them both the best in their new careers.

From my limited perspective, the program seems very innovative and puts the interests of the student athlete first. Partnering with true medical professionals may have bruised some egos from the athletic department side (but that is just conjecture).

Bryce Landon 3 years, 3 months ago


Andy Godwin 3 years, 3 months ago

It was relayed by others in the know that Hudy’s leaving long precedes the formation of the team health program. More may come out, but nevertheless, Andrea is a fine person who contributed to KU for 15 years and should be thanked and not lambasted.

Dan Philipps 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the insider information ... And I agree, Hudy did a great job with the team and I wish her the best. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a new career challenge.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 3 months ago

I would be interested, it sounds like Hudy was going to leave before the restructuring, but the article inferred someone else left potentially because of this re-organization.

My question, this might actually be working to evaluate and hold accountable those that are overseeing the health and well-being of the athletes and if so, it is well worth the change. I think a 6 month window is too short and likely a 2 year window is too short, but it'll be interesting to see the adaptation and whether this will become the norm or if this will become just an enhancement to our medical school.

From some of the reports over the years of coaches overriding medical decisions, if it helps the overall athletic departments we should be praising it.

I believe Hudy was very good for KU basketball, clearly Self appreciated her as she sat right behind the team in nearly every home and away game. I'm not sure if every trainer does that, I may only notice it because it was KU, but she will be missed, but I would also say this isn't something that won't be replaceable. Still wish at times we had Danny still on the sidelines though.

Jay Hawkinson 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, this restructuring should be good for the long term health of the student athletes. I think the idea is to avoid pushing players to return too quickly after a concussion, ignoring heatstroke like Durkin did at Maryland last year, etc. It makes a lot of sense that this would be a top priority for Girod given that he was a head/neck surgeon.

Dale Rogers 3 years, 3 months ago

This is terrible news. The school needs to do whatever it takes to keep her. Move them back under the AD if that's what it takes. Geez, what a terrible loss. And to another Big12 school!

Robert Robinson 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm with some of the others here. It hurts, but it hurts a whole lot more knowing she's going to Texas

Chad Smith 3 years, 3 months ago

I think it's saddening but also really exciting. Hudy did a good job while here and she is very respected in the professional circle. That being said, we will find a fantastic replacement and with last year being a very transitional year for the men's program, this seems like as good a time as any to bring a different energy to it. Wish her the best but I'm sure KU will be great without her.


Tim Orel 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm just hoping this winds up being like the Roy Williams situation, where he left and we thought that the sky was falling, only to get Bill Self and for many, it has seemed to be just as good if not better for KU.

Damian Glaze 3 years, 3 months ago

Reads like she went from being employed by the University to being employed by a privatized health system. This would broaden her duties to include more than mens and womens basketball. Perhaps she wanted to focus on what she enjoyed with the limited number of people she was responsible for training. I don't know whether you can attract a quality individual that has that broad of job responsibilities. It sucks that she is leaving for a conference school, but the bigger concern is that the job won't be attractive to anyone with similar or better qualifications. Are my concerns unfounded?

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