3 min Read

USC announces strength and conditioning staff

New Trojans Director of Football Sports Performance Robert Stiner has completed his first staff, USC announced Monday.

Stiner was hired by USC two weeks ago and comes to the Trojans from Notre Dame, where he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Two of Stiner’s new assistants have led college strength and conditioning programs themselves, while all four share a previous connection to Stiner.

Ian Bures and Chad Smith are USC’s new assistant directors of football sports performance.

Bures comes to USC along with Stiner from Notre Dame, where he was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the past three years. Bures attended high school in Connecticut and played tight end for four years at Plymouth State (New Hampshire).

Smith served as the director of football strength and conditioning at South Alabama last season, and before that, was the director of strength and conditioning at Florida International from 2013-2019, overseeing 14 sports..

Smith has spent time at Memphis, Mississippi State and Chattanooga. Smith went to high school in Tennessee and was a fullback at Chattanooga from 2002-2004.

His connection with Stiner stems from their time at FIU, when Stiner was an assistant strength and conditioning coach under Smith in 2016.

USC also announced two assistant football sports performance coaches, in Adrian Briones and Zaviar Gooden.

Briones was the head strength and conditioning coach at Delaware State, the director of athletic performance at Houston Baptist and the director of strength and conditioning at Prairie View A&M between 2013 and 2019. The connection between he and Stiner goes back to their days at Belhaven University. Briones finished his playing career and served as an intern strength and conditioning coach in 2007, the final season Stiner played for Belhaven.

Briones attended Tyler (Tex.) Junior College and played defensive end.

Gooden has the least experience as a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level, but he brings an interesting background to the position. A team captain and linebacker at Missouri, Gooden was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the third round and spent five years in the NFL, with the Titans, Lions and Cardinals.

He was a volunteer assistant strength and conditioning coach at SMU in 2018 and just before that, was an strength and conditioning intern at Notre Dame. Most recently, Gooden was the head sports and fitness trainer at CRA-Z Sports Training in Texas. Another Texas addition to the staff, his connections there and experience in the NFL should be major assets.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

More Articles By Erik