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Georgia Tech Finalizes Football Strength Staff

THE FLATS – A.J. Artis, who has spent the past three years overseeing the football strength programs at Tennessee and USF, has been named director of football strength and performance at Georgia Tech, head coach Brent Key announced on Thursday.

In addition to Artis, Georgia Tech football’s strength, performance and conditioning staff will be rounded out by:

  • Byron Jerideau – associate director of football strength and performance/accountability
  • Jordan Diaz – director of speed and associate director of football performance
  • Tyler Smith – assistant director of football strength and conditioning
  • Sean Boyle – performance manager/assistant director of football strength and conditioning

A rising star in the strength and conditioning profession, Artis, 29, has compiled three years of experience as a director of football strength and conditioning at the NCAA Division I FBS level before the age of 30.He comes to Tech after serving as the director of football strength and conditioning at USF in 2021 and 2022 and as the director of football sports performance at Tennessee in 2020.

“A.J. has quickly become one of the most respected strength coaches in America and I’m very excited to have him lead our strength and conditioning efforts here on The Flats,” Key said. “He’s done a great job in three seasons as the director of strength and conditioning at USF and Tennessee, comes very highly recommended from people that have worked with him throughout his career and really stood out during the interview process as the right person for our student-athletes at Georgia Tech.”

Prior to his ascension to the top spot at Tennessee, Artis served as assistant director of football sports performance at UT for two seasons (2018 and 2019) under then-director Craig Fitzgerald. Artis was promoted to lead the Vols’ strength and conditioning efforts following Fitzgerald’s departure to the National Football League’s New York Giants.

Before his arrival at Tennessee, Artis spent two years on the strength and conditioning staff at Duke (2016-17). With the Blue Devils, Artis worked directly with football, which won the 2017 Quick Lane Bowl and included future first-round NFL draft pick Daniel Jones, and field hockey, which was ranked among the top-five nationally throughout the 2016 campaign.

Artis began his career with one-year stints as a graduate assistant at Appalachian State (2015-16) and an intern at his alma mater, Campbell (2014-15). While working with the football program at App State, the Mountaineers became the first team to ever win a bowl game in its first year of FBS eligibility in 2015. He also oversaw strength and conditioning for Appalachian’s field hockey and golf programs. He worked with a slew of teams as an intern at Campbell, including football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball.

Artis was a three-year football letterwinner at Campbell from 2012-14, beginning as a wide receiver before moving to tight end for his final two seasons. A three-year member of Campbell’s academic honor roll, he earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2015. He went on to earn a master’s in exercise science from Appalachian State in 2017. He and his wife, D Janelle, have two daughters – Amoura and Alianna.

Jerideau brings an extensive background at the Power Five conference level to The Flats, having spent the past seven seasons at South Carolina (2016-17; 2020-22) and Tennessee (2018-19). In his most recent stint at South Carolina, he served as assistant director of sports performance. He was also dubbed the Gamecocks’ “director of accountability,” establishing a scoring system to track football student-athletes’ off-field performance each day.

At Tennessee, Jerideau served with Artis as an assistant director of football sports performance for two seasons. His two seasons at UT came after two seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach/recruiting assistant at South Carolina, where he worked with both the football and track and field teams, as well as participating in campus tours for incoming recruits.

Jerideau was also with Artis for one year at Appalachian State (2015-16), serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach and working directly with the Mountaineers’ football and cheerleading programs. Jerideau’s lone season at App State also included the Mountaineers’ historic Camellia Bowl win in 2015. He began his career in the strength-and-conditioning field with an internship at Houston for five months before departing for Appalachian State.

A standout defensive tackle as a player, Jerideau began his collegiate career at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College, where he helped lead the Greyhounds to the 2009 National Junior College Athletic Association national championship game. He then transferred to South Carolina and earned three letters with the Gamecocks from 2010-12. He earned an invitation to the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and signed a contract as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers later that year. He spent the 2013 season with the Chargers before embarking on his coaching career.

Jerideau earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from South Carolina in 2012. He and his wife, Allie, have a daughter, Adalyn.

Diaz joins Artis at Georgia Tech from USF, where he served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach under Artis in 2021 and 2022. With USF, his primary duties included overseeing the speed, agility and conditioning aspects of the Bulls’ football program and the use and analysis of the Catapult Sports monitoring system.

Diaz joined Artis at USF after three seasons at Arizona State, where he began as an assistant coach for football performance in 2018 and 2019 before being promoted to assistant head coach for football performance in 2020. At ASU, he worked with both front-seven and skill athletes, while also monitoring the football weight room nutrition and fueling station.

His experience also includes two years as a personal trainer in his native New Jersey (2016-18) and two years as an intern and graduate assistant in the strength and conditioning program at his alma mater, South Carolina.

Diaz was a fullback and key special teams contributor at South Carolina from 2012-14. He joined the Gamecocks as a walk-on in 2012, earned his first letter in 2013 and was awarded with a scholarship prior to his senior season in 2014. He graduated cum laude from South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2014 and earned a master’s degree in human performance and nutrition with summa cum laude honors from Logan University in 2017.

Smith is also familiar with Artis after being a part of his staffs at USF and Tennessee. Smith originally joined Artis as assistant director of football performance at UT in January 2021, then went to USF to be an assistant strength and conditioning under Artis three months later.

Smith’s experience at the FBS level also includes stints as a strength and conditioning intern at South Carolina in 2019 and at Duke in 2016. He has also gained extensive experience as head strength and conditioning coach at a trio of high schools – Airport H.S. (West Columbia, S.C. – 2017-18), River Bluff H.S. (Lexington, S.C. – 2018-19) and St. Joseph’s Catholic School (Greenville, S.C. – 2020).

Smith played collegiately at South Carolina State, where he served as special teams captain in 2014 and helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships (2013-14) and an NCAA Division I FCS playoff appearance in 2013.

He graduated from S.C. State with a bachelor’s degree in physical activity management in 2016. He and his wife, Kalifa, have a daughter, Ava Noelle.

Boyle enters his third year as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Georgia Tech football. He came to Georgia Tech in 2021 from Colorado State, where he spent 2020 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Prior to his one season at Colorado State, he was a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, Temple, for the 2019 season. He also has six years of experience as a private personal trainer and performance coach.

Boyle played collegiately at Temple from 2008-13, appearing in 36 games as an offensive lineman and helping lead the Owls to their first bowl berth in 30 years in 2009. He was a member of the Temple and Mid-American Conference academic honor rolls and was named to the Big East Conference all-academic team in 2012.

The brother of Georgia Tech football research and analytics coordinator Pat Boyle, Boyle earned two degrees from Temple – a bachelor’s in kinesiology and exercise science in 2012 and a master’s in kinesiology in 2014.

Georgia Tech football opens the 2023 season on Sept. 2 when they host new annual ACC rival Louisville in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Click HERE to make a deposit to secure season tickets for the Yellow Jackets’ seven-game 2023 home slate, which includes the opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Louisville and six home dates at Bobby Dodd Stadium, featuring visits by ACC opponents North Carolina, Boston College and Syracuse and Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate versus archrival Georgia.

Competitive Drive Initiative

In a unified endeavor, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation, Georgia Tech athletics and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund have come together to accelerate funding for student-athlete scholarships with the launch of the Competitive Drive Initiative. The initiative kicks off with the Accelerate GT Match Program, where any new gift to the A-T Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund made through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Georgia Tech Foundation, up to $2.5 million. Should Accelerate GT reach its $2.5 million fundraising goal, the matching gift would result in a $5 million impact for Georgia Tech athletics. To learn more and to contribute online, visit atfund.org/accelerate.

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