UConn has announced that men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley has hired Gavin Roberts to be the Huskies’ Director of Sports Performance. Roberts replaces Mike Rehfeldt, who spent one season as UConn’s Director of Sports Performance before returning to Cincinnati earlier this month.
Roberts, a 31-year-old Somerset, New Jersey native, nearly played football at UConn but chose instead to play at Purdue. After his playing career ended, he became an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Boilermakers’ basketball program from 2013-15 before leaving to become an assistant director of sports performance at Western Michigan. Roberts returned to Purdue three years ago, serving as the head strength and conditioning coach and helping the men’s basketball program make both NCAA tournaments in that span.
“We are excited to add one of the top young sports performance coaches in the country, who is coming to us from an outstanding program,” Hurley said. “At Purdue, Gavin gained experience working with NBA-level players in a program with championship aspirations. He understands the standards and the tradition here with his tri-state area ties.”
The hiring of Roberts officially makes him the sixth person in this job since 2017. While Rehfeldt was able to make an impact during his short time in Storrs, continuity and stability may be just as important as any strength program or philosophy Roberts can offer.
“Overall, the greatest aspect an athlete has is his availability … so making sure guys are healthy,” Roberts said about his philosophy. “The second thing overall is to build athleticism – essentially trying to raise the threshold of these athletes so they are able to absorb and redirect force and be at their best on the court.
“Then, from a mentality standpoint, to find a system ultimately that they need for themselves in order to thrive. Providing information and support from a mental standpoint, from a nutrition standpoint, from a strength aspect, a conditioning aspect, providing that recovery aspect. Ultimately, it’s about empowering guys so they can build themselves into the best person they can be in college and beyond.”