Chris Dawson, a 20-year veteran in the field of strength training, is in his sixth season as Kansas State’s Director of Strength and Conditioning.
Dawson manages the department’s total strength program, overseeing five full-time assistant coaches, while providing daily leadership for the Wildcats’ football strength and conditioning program. The Houston, Texas, native spent the previous seven seasons as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Kansas before coming to Manhattan. Under Dawson’s tutelage, 33 players have been drafted by NFL teams including eight that were taken in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.
Since coming to K-State, Dawson has been a part of five bowl teams and helped the 2012 squad win the Big 12 Championship. He has also seen five players selected in the NFL Draft, including a pair of second-round picks in Daniel Thomas (2011) and Arthur Brown (2013).
At Kansas, Dawson was a part of four bowl teams from 2003-2008, including a 2008 BCS appearance in the Orange Bowl. Following the successful 2007 campaign, Dawson was awarded the National Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society.
Dawson worked the 2001 and 2002 football seasons as the head strength and conditioning coach for the University of Minnesota after serving five-year stint at Oklahoma, his alma mater. While with the Sooners, Dawson worked with the football and men’s basketball teams.
Before taking the position at Minnesota, he spent three months with the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL and two months with the Dallas Cowboys as a strength and conditioning intern.
Dawson credits his success in the strength field to his mentors at Oklahoma. He learned under Joe Juraszek, who was the strength coach at OU during his playing days and was the head strength coach for the Dallas Cowboys for 14 years. He also received valuable guidance from Blair Prince, Pete Martinelli, and Jerry Schmidt, the current strength coach at Oklahoma.
Dawson played linebacker for the Sooners from 1992-94 and participated in a pair of postseason contests - the 1993 John Hancock Bowl and the 1994 Copper Bowl. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management in 1995 and his master’s degree in business administration in 1999, both from Oklahoma. Dawson and his wife, Dawn, have three children, Macey, and twins Madison and Meyer.