Ask his colleagues and you’ll hear about the talent possessed by head strength coach and assistant athletic director Ron McKeefery, a nationally-recognized leader in the area of sports development.
The Missouri native has been asked to speak at national conventions and has been flown to various universities to share wisdom with their staff. The rise to football prominence doesn’t happen without sweat and tears, and while the USF coaches are undoubtedly the architects of everything football, you can just as easily claim that McKeefery is the carpenter.
In 2008, McKeefery was named the Under Armour Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society. Most recently, McKeefery was a finalist for the 2009 NSCA Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year.
He has lectured for the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Association along with his numerous major university speaking engagements. McKeefery has also seen his work published in the National Strength and Conditioning journal, American Football Monthly and Stack Magazine.
His finely tuned plan for strength and speed gains, while also working to prevent injuries, has helped USF compete at the highest level of college football without the benefit of recruiting classes filled with stars and prep hype.
And like the coaching staff and everything USF football, the rise to BCS contender was a process... it just so happened McKeefery and company chose to take the fast route.
McKeefery is currently in his 10th season at USF for the 2009-10 campaign. A former all-conference defensive back at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan., he earned bachelor's degrees in biology and physical education in 1997, while also being named a two-time Academic All-American. A two-sport star at Ottawa, McKeefery earned all-conference honors in both football and track and field.
In addition, he earned his Master of Arts degree in adult education from the University of South Florida in 2004. He is currently working towards his Ph.D at USF.
After one year as a coach at Ottawa, he made the switch to strength and conditioning, working first as an intern with the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. He then worked as a part-time assistant for two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL before becoming the head strength coach for the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europe.
McKeefery joined the USF program prior to the 2000 football season. During his time at USF he has groomed 11 NFL Draft picks, seven All-Americans and numerous NFL free agents. He took an under-weight high school offensive lineman named George Selvie and helped convert him into the only two-time first team All-American in USF history.
The third-most tenured member of the football staff, McKeefery has coached three conference player of the year awards winners, 11 first team selections, 18 second-team selections and four third-team selections.
McKeefery has been a key cog in USF's successful transition from Division I-AA to Conference USA and now to the BIG EAST, where the Bulls have been to five straight bowl games in their five seasons in the league and reached as high as No. 2 in the nation.
While the Bulls have racked up a 75-44 record during his time with the program, perhaps no accolade displays his work better than the Bulls' undefeated record in overtime, 6-0.
McKeefery is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist w/Distinction (CSCS*D) and Coach Practitioner under the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as well as a Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) under the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA). He is also the state NSCA Director for Florida (North) and is certified by both the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA).
Currently living in Tampa, he is married to the former Angela Hamilton and the couple has three children: Tyler, Ava and Maya.