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Frank Wintrich, the UCLA football performance coordinator who has been part of coach Chip Kelly’s staff since his first season on campus, announced Friday on Twitter that he’s departing to work for the U.S. Army.
After more than three years of leading the Bruins’ strength and conditioning efforts, Wintrich will become the Holistic Health and Fitness Program Director for the U.S. Army’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
“Thank you to the athletes and coaches who have joined me on this journey,” wrote Wintrich, who had made previous stops at Virginia, Brigham Young, North Texas, South Florida, the Citadel, Utah State and Arizona State as part of a 20-year career. “I have always viewed coaching young people as the ultimate privilege and sharing the last four years of my life in service to UCLA has been exactly that.”
Kelly had routinely praised Wintrich for his work with the UCLA players and for helping them avoid soft-tissue injuries. Tight end Greg Dulcich said Wintrich even helped keep players in shape during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when they were stuck at home.
“He’s been really good at keeping us motivated, keeping us active and making sure we’re taking advantage of all this free time we have to stay in shape and keep building our bodies for the season,” Dulcich said last March.
Wintrich’s departure means that Kelly must move quickly to find a replacement before the start of spring practice next month.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.