Yancy McKnight returns to the Owls for the 2007 season with a new title, Assistant AD/Performance Enhancement.
McKnight, 35, came to Rice in 2006 and was continuously credited by the players as a key component in the Owls magical run to a bowl game. After briefly joining the other members of the 2006 staff in moving to Tulsa, McKnight reconsidered and his return to Rice was announced on January 23.
The 2006 Owls showed a level of endurance that allowed them to battle back and win three times on the last offensive play of the game, due in large part to McKnight's conditioning and strength retention programs.
He originally came to Rice after two years as the head strength and conditioning coach at Louisiana Tech University.
McKnight helped Louisiana Tech to a 7-4 record in 2005. The Bulldogs won five of their last six games, including a 43-28 win at Fresno State to close the season.
He began his college coaching career at Oklahoma State as an assistant in 2002 after building a repuration as a top strength and conditioning coach while directing the Adams Course in Dallas (1996-2001). McKnight has also served as a strength and conditioning program design consultant for Performance Course, Inc., in Allen.
A 2001 graduate of Missouri Southern State University, the Joplin, Mo., native started his college career at Missouri State but transferred to his hometown school, Missouri Southern, becoming a three-time all-Mid-America Athletic Association offensive lineman (1993-95) and earning NCAA Division II all-America acclaim as a senior. He played in the 1995 Snow Bowl, that division's post-season all-star game. He was the Lions' team captain in '95.
McKnight is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), a certified strength and conditioning coach (SCCC), and a USA Weightlifting Level I certified coach.
He is married to the former Lynn Karns of Joplin and they are the parents of a son, Brody Jameson, who will turn one this fall.