The hiring of Zach Weatherford as director of player performance was easily the most intriguing hire of the Nets new performance team. He is, after all, the human performance program manager for the Navy's Special Warfare Command which includes the Navy's elite SEAL teams.
But what about Dan Meehan, the new strength and conditioning coach? How does a guy from the North Melbourne Football Club make the move from Australian rules football to the NBA. We did a little investigating.
According to ESPN Australia, Meehan has wanted to make the move for a while. Meehan visited the gym facilities at several NBA clubs, including the Spurs, Bucks and Warriors, last November before the football club's high-altitude camp in Utah.
The Nets approached Meehan in May with an offer, having become aware of his work via the recommendation of another "Australian fitness guru" who works in the NBA, ESPN reported. Surprisingly, there are at least two former Australian strength and conditioning coaches in the NBA: Suki Hobson at the Bucks, who worked for several AFC teams and comes from Melbourne, Meehan's hometown; and David Howarth at the Magic, who worked with Australian rugby and surfing teams. He's from Sydney. (AFC training is respected worldwide, having pioneered in prioritzing the preventive over rehabilitative as Sporting News wrote earlier in the week.)
Meehan comes with high recommendations. ESPN called him "long-standing and respected," noting that "Meehan has been instrumental in helping injury-prone star recruits Jarrad Waite and Shaun Higgins, among many others, get their bodies right and enable them to take the field with astonishing regularity given their medical histories."
He is familiar to Australian hoopsters. Joe Ingles of the Jazz wished him well after his new job was announced.
@danmeehan01 congrats mate, good to see more & more coming over! See you over there!— Joe Ingles (@Joeingles7) June 10, 2016
The job was so enticing to Meehan he left in the middle of the football season down under. ESPN wonders if Meehan's green card "will allow him to pursue his other line of work - as a part-time male model." Here's his portfolio.