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Utah Jazz Find Fountain of Youth: Name Mike Elliott Vice President of Performance Health Care

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The Utah Jazz sign the former Phoenix Suns Strength And Condition Coach of the Year.

Enough is enough for the Utah Jazz when it comes to injuries. After a second straight year of suffering major injuries—some have said the Jazz injuries cost them 9 wins last year—the Utah Jazz have gone to the Arizona fountain of youth. The Jazz have named Mike Elliott Vice President of Performance Health Care.

Mike Elliott worked on the award winning, and miracle working, Phoenix Suns staff from 2003-2017. He was known for saving Grant Hill’s career, helping Steve Nash play well into his 30s, and keeping Shaq as healthy as one could keep Shaq healthy. The Phoenix Suns training staff is known as one of the premier training staffs when it comes to player health and fitness.

From the Mike Elliott’s bio on NBATA.com:

Mike Elliott, the 2013-14 NBA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year, is in his 12th season as a member of the Suns’ renowned athletic training staff and sixth season as the club’s head strength and conditioning coach/assistant athletic trainer. In his role, he is responsible for all aspects of player strength and conditioning and assists Aaron Nelson with daily recognition, care and treatment of team-related medical issues.

Elliott has also engineered an overhaul of the Suns’ nutrition program which centers on educating players to optimize performance and recovery with a commitment to well-sourced, whole, organic foods.

Originally joining the Suns full-time in 2003-04 as assistant athletic trainer, Elliott was named NBA Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the National Basketball Strength and Conditioning Association (NBSCA) following the 2013-14 season. Elliott has also served as the lead strength and conditioning coach for the British Men’s National Team, joining the program in 2010 as the team trained for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Elliott is a certified athletic trainer, performance enhancement specialist (PES) and corrective exercise specialist (CES) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). He received his Master of Science in performance enhancement and injury prevention from California University at Pennsylvania in 2005 and did his undergraduate work in exercise science at Arizona State University where he was in the athletic training program under Perry Edinger and former Suns strength coach/assistant athletic trainer and current Dallas Mavericks Head Athletic Trainer Casey Smith.

In his new role Elliott will oversee the Utah Jazz’s strength and conditioning workouts. This is really good news to Utah Jazz fans. George Hill, Rodney Hood, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks,and Gordon Hayward all lost time due to injuries. Some of those players had trouble recovering from chronic injuries.

While this move would have been great last year—see also, Gordon Hayward/Celtics—this is a step in the right direction to help Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, Rodney Hood, and the rest of the Jazz roster stay healthy over the course of an 82 games season. This is a fantastic hire by Dennis Lindsey. Utah’s top development coaches mixed with the Phoenix Suns strength and conditioning prowess is a marriage made in basketball development heaven.

[UPDATE]

Mike Elliott is replacing Brian Zettler after he resigned after the playoffs to pursue other opportunities.