Lyonel Anderson hired as IU basketball strength coach #iubb

Indiana announced Wednesday that Lyonel Anderson will oversee the strength and conditioning program for the basketball program. (Courtesy)
Indiana announced Wednesday that Lyonel Anderson will oversee the strength and conditioning program for the basketball program. (Courtesy)
Indiana coach Tom Crean took the next step toward filling his coaching staff on Wednesday, officially announcing the hiring of Lyonel Anderson as head strength and conditioning coach.

Anderson, who replaces Je’Ney Jackson and interim coach Chris Virtue, returns to IU after working with the Hoosiers’ football program as an assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2012-13. Anderson most recently worked with the University of Houston football program.

“I’m extremely excited to work for a great coach like Tom Crean,” Anderson said in a statement. “This is like my Super Bowl. Every day I will have the opportunity to work with elite level athletes and elite level young men. I can not thank Coach enough for allowing me to be a part of this program.”

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Anderson played tight end at Alfred State College before transfering to Kansas after his sophomore year. With the Jayhawks, he caught 43 passes for 485 yards and three touchdowns in 21 career games from 2003-04. He later signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals and was a member of the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad. Anderson also played for the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush.

He began his career in strength and conditioning as a graduate assistant at Kansas in 2008, when he also served as a season intern with the Denver Broncos. Anderson was also an assistant strength coach at Youngstown State and Rice prior to joining the IU football program.

“Lyonel has coached and played at a high level and with great success,” Crean said in a statement. “Those who have worked with him and know him have nothing but the highest praise for him personally and professionally. He is well respected and developed a great rapport with everyone during his visit here.”

According to a release from Indiana, returning players began trickling back to Bloomington on June 8. Newcomers will arrive over the next week and a half. Crean has valued his strength coaches since arriving, beginning with Jeff Watkinson, who is now with the Utah Jazz, and Jackson, who is now with Kansas football.

Jackson was also credited as a factor in recruiting. When he committed to IU in September, incoming freshman forward Juwan Morgan said Jackson’s involvement in the weight room played a role in his decision to choose Indiana.

Crean still must fill the assistant coaching position left open by Steve McClain’s departure for the head coaching job at Illinois-Chicago. Crean said last week during an IU Tailgate Tour event at Huber’s Winery that his national search was slowed somewhat by last month’s dismissals of forwards Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis.

“We went right back to a major recruiting mode,” Crean said. “So it wasn’t just like let’s get ready for the 2016s or 2017s. We’ve got to recruit right now. We haven’t had a chance to not have a time period when we haven’t been full-tilt, so to speak.”


  1. Job responsibilities include training football and cross country groups and assisting in all aspects of the Cougar Sports Performance Department.

    (courtesy: University of Houston Athletics Dept.)

    “…all aspects of Cougar Sports Performance Department” Hmmm? Are we sure he’s had absolutely no contact with Kelvin Sampson or Kelvin’s players? Could he have attended any meetings or functions where Sampson was present? I’m just no sure if we should bring in anyone that’s been working so close to the offices our former program “wrecker.” Though he worked mostly in football, he could have shared beers at an Applebee’s with Kelvin….This is a highly disturbing hire.

  2. Maybe he contacts that could get access/entry into Kelvins’s office and copies of practice notes and playbook manuals were made….? Could be a Hoosier double agent….? If you can’t figure out how to penetrate a zone, then the next best thing is penetrating a Kelvin office. …?

  3. We all have our obsessions…

    Here’s you dreaming of having a one-on-one meeting with your quintessential Hoosierlineman.

  4. Don’t really have anything constructive to add, but since since we’re talking about strength coaches…

    I’ve been hitting the weights much more frequently these last few months. And I’m remembering now why I always dreaded going to the gym in the first place: too many people wasting too much time accomplishing too little, and preventing me from getting my own work done. I like to get in and out, jumping from station to station, alternating muscle groups, and keeping my heart rate up as much as possible. This may seem strange to some, but I actually treat it as a physical fitness activity. It’s not a social outing for me; nor is it a time to admire my reflection, scope out chicks, check emails, texts, tweets, watch videos, or write my dissertation while holding up the bench press.

    But I do enjoy the occasional people watching and listening to some of the conversations.

    Which reminds me of a joke I heard recently: how can you tell if someone’s an Atheist, a vegan, or a cross-fitter? They’ll tell you…

  5. I will say, though, I can’t help but wonder how much impact having access to IU (deputy junior associate assistant) affiliated coaches, trainers, and HPER students/interns has on the amount of quality athletes Bloomington area high schools produce. Compare that to a town like Lafayette (with an engineering/agricultural school) and the relatively few athletes that seem to come from there. No idea what the actual numbers are, but it seems if you take the number of NCAA and/or pro athletes produced relative to population, I’d guess Bloomington has a sizeable advantage over most comparable cities.

  6. Just saw the pics IUBB released of their new strength/conditioning program. I see more and more military folk training independently with the elevation masks, so it probably wasn’t as big of a shock to me as it might be for others. But I hear it yields great results. And RJ looks twice as big as last year. Good sign. Hope the bigger body doesn’t affect his shooting stroke like it did it Yogi his frosh year, but it tells me he’s going to be a force for the next few years. How much longer ’til opening tipoff?

  7. Punjab,
    Never done Crossfit myself (it would certainly kill me) but my oldest son does. Want to know the biggest difference I see between them and any other high intensity training outfit? They have fun. I think that they probably do a better job of recruiting already successful athletes looking for competition than most but some start from the same woeful condition a lot of people find themselves. But they have a sense of camaraderie I’ve never really seen in your basic subscription gym. They all know not only each other but people from other Crossfit gyms. They travel to competitions together. It certainly looks like they are having a great time. Everyone I’ve talked to can see that it is a bit cultish but they know that going in and they are able to laugh about it. It’s a great business model.

    It’s not for the meek.

    I’m very impressed with any program that can keep people interested over a long period of time like that. Most people lose interest in their gym about a month after they buy their membership.

  8. Sorry – Off topic….

    Jeremy – So NC gets a year probation? For 3000 students receiving good grads in a non-existent class.
    And that’s it? Really?

  9. Chet, I’ve heard mostly rave reviews about the physical benefits of cross-fit. But I’ve also heard and seen (first hand) the almost mind-washing power it has over some of its members. On the one hand it seems like a great workout with a great group of dedicated fitness enthusiasts. On the other hand, it really is almost cultish. I remember one night surviving a 2-on1, 30 l.minute after hours seminar about the paleo diet, feeling as if I’d just escaped the Branch Davidian Complex. I had literally apologized for liking pizza.

    That’s probably a small, poor representation, and I’ve met very few cross-fitters as intense as that night, but in my amateur experience the only gym denizens who’ve rivaled the cross-fitter braggadocio are 300lb bench pressers and marathon finishers. (Full disclosure: I’ve had a 26.2 sticker on my Jeep’s bumper for years… but I’m some combination of too proud, too stubborn, and too lazy to take it off… so yes, I am almost a complete POS hypocrite with no credibility.) But I’ve too often found the Cross-fitters I’ve encountered to be the athletic equivalent of a mutant LDS/Harai Krishnas half-breeds on steroids, with half of them fully invested and thriving, the other half just non-believers pretending they’re part of some exclusive club that somehow still needs members. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky. My encounters have been mostly young, impressionable (military) folk after all… And I can say that, because it supervise them…

  10. But ha, the list you could fill in to complete that joke is nearly endless…high school football players, prom queens, democrats/republicans, grandparents, lawyers, Indiana transfers… The list goes on and on…

  11. 95% of longevity is genetics…..I’m not sure if pounding the complete sh____ out of your body is the key to good health. I always thought of the body as the workings an automobile…What you start with plays a key role…Some are born with a Yugo …Some are born with Volvo…..How you drive it plays a key role. Don’t overly maintain…Don’t drive your foot through the floorboards…Have fun, but don’t abuse it..But don’t pamper it either. Be careful when a mechanic or a doctor frightens you with a need to do a bunch of repairs that may not be necessary. The more you take it into the shop, the more they’ll find wrong.

    Al Roker looks so much more unhealthy since he had the gastric bypass surgery. In my honest opinion, he just has a sickly and off appearance. I’ve always felt that a person could be somewhat overweight and still be quite healthy. It all depends on lifestyle and disposition….and the genetics of which model you were born.

    But that’s just my very unscientific opinion.

  12. Hey, I know what you mean, I said ‘cultish’ first.

    My son is a great guy. Mechanical engineer. A big believer in karma he does all the good stuff, blood donor, volunteers for everything, coaches middle schoolers. In college he once spent T-giving break donating bone marrow. You get the picture.

    He’s also a very competitive guy. Crossfit gave him an outlet. He looks like a lab experiment. Happy as a clam.

    I $hit you not, he does both the marathon thing and, almost, the 300lb bench. He’s also into something called ‘tough mudders’ Doesn’t train for anything special, just runs them..

    But, he always seems very happy. Has a girlfriend. Nice outlook for the future.

    If it were alien pods instead of Crossfit who am I to complain? As long as he doesn’t kill himself.

  13. Nice metaphor, Harv. I like it. I would just caution the Yugos to remember that they, too, need maintenance and care. If you have no other means of transportation, it doesn’t do you any better to let it rust out than to drive it too hard and blow your engine. Public transportation certainly has its place, but you probably don’t want to rely on it in an emergency.

    Chet, I’m getting to that age where I’m starting to buy into the whole “your body is a temple” thing. Some are built more opulently than others, but all need tending to lest they become ruins. I’ve taken mine for granted for far too long, and it’s past time to kick the vagrants out and do more grounds keeping.

    (Incidentally, if your son is still a bachelor 20-25 years from now, I’ve got two beautiful daughters I might like to introduce him to… that is if one of them didn’t already run into him on the Rough Mudder course…)

  14. The latest thing he has gotten into is ‘hashing’ as in the ‘hash house harriers’. It dates back to 1938, when a group of nine British officers in Kuala Lumpur started going for weekly runs to shake off their weekend hangovers. Now, it a running and beer drinking activity with various and sundry ‘games’ built into it. Sometimes a ‘hash’ will cover a couple days.

    Apparently, it is now all over the world. He says it is way too much fun.

    I don’t know if I treat my body as a temple as much as I treat it like a 1952 Plymouth. I work out every day as I HAVE to work out every day in order to move. Mostly martial arts and moderate weights. My right leg is the only section of my body that has not required significant surgical intervention over the years. I’m approaching a dozen surgeries at this point, not counting plain old broken bones and such. I’m very fortunate that everything still works but being sedentary is a luxury I simply don’t have…and probably never will. I rust easily and I don’t always make the best decisions (‘should I try to jump that or just go around? Heh-heh.”).

    As Adrian Monk once said, “It’s a blessing and a curse.” I’m the same weight I was when I was in the military (Spanish American War), probably a little stronger. That’s the blessing part. But I’m like that guy in the movie that had to keep moving or he’d explode or something. If I stop for very long I might not start again.

    Fortunately, I’m married to someone who is that way by her nature. I’d have probably given up years ago otherwise. Just tagging along is a pretty good workout. Especially now that we relocated to, literally, the edge of the wilderness. There’s a year round playground right outside the door. It took me a while to realize that was all part of her master plan.

    If I had to sit at a desk every day I’m not sure I’d still be alive. I’m very lucky. I can still do most of the stupid stuff that left me this way to begin with. I appear very fit on the outside. On the inside the damage control teams never stop patching the holes.

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