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Phil Herkenhoff Parts Ways with Briar Cliff

November 5, 2020 | By Ben Peters


Phil “Herk” Herkenhoff has spent the last five and a half years as the strength and conditioning coach for Briar Cliff University. After several years in this position, he has decided it’s time to move forward in his career. In turn, he accepted a position at his Alma Mater, Minnesota State University- Moorhead.


“It’s a chance for me to go back to where I got the itch for strength and conditioning,” says Herk. “Student-athletes is what I’ll miss the most about Briar Cliff. They’ve always been very willing to be coachable and they’ve always had a knack to get better.”


Besides the athletes he’s worked with, he also says he’ll greatly miss the coaches of the programs he has helped build. After coming out of graduate school at Northern Arizona University, becoming the head strength and conditioning coach for the Chargers was Herkenhoff’s first full-time job.


His goals are set to eventually hold a position for a NCAA Division 1 program, and making the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division 2 is his step forward. Besides the fact the MSU- Moorhead is where he finished his football career, the move also brings him closer to family who would be a two-hour drive from the school.


“I hope some of my ways and practices I’ve established here stick around and are burned into the athletes, how we train and what needs to happen when they step into the weight room.”


For the time being, his current assistants will take over in the weight room until the school is able to find a replacement. He already has a variety of programs written up for the winter sports to help them get through their season. Herk wanted to assure the athletes that he has enjoyed his time here at the school and his decision to leave is nothing personal towards them.


“This is an opportunity for me to move up the ladder,” said Herk.

Clayton Reis, a senior on the BCU wrestling team, is among many student athletes who will miss having Herk being a part of their athletic careers.


“He’s been around throughout my entire college experience,” says Reis. “It’s going to be strange to walk into the weight room and not see him in there.”


Herk’s final day at Briar Cliff was on October 30th.

Phil Herkenhoff has accepted a position at Minnesota State University- Moorhead.

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