If you're looking for more evidence of unconventional, out-of-the-box thinking from the Nets new front office, here it is: the Nets have named the Navy SEALS Human Performance Manager as their director of player performance, a new role. Zach Weatherford has served the Naval Special Warfare Command, which is the overarching headquarters for all Navy special operations, including the SEALs.
Although not a Navy SEAL, Weatheford was in charge of improving the performance of the Navy's top-secret special ops teams.
The Nets announced Weatherford's appointment Thursday as part of their new "performance team," which includes training as well as rehabilitation and strength and conditioning. In addition to naming Weatherford, the Nets named Lloyd Beckett, the Nets rehabilitation director, as their trainer/physical therapist, replacing Tim Walsh.
Others named Thursday are Dan Meehan, he new head strength and conditioning coach, who comes from Australian rules football and Aisling Toolan as director of physical therapy. She comes from Hospital for Special Surgery.
"We are extremely excited to announce the formation of our new performance team which is comprised of world renowned leaders in the fields of athletic performance and sport science," said Sean Marks.
"Together they bring a collective experience along with global industry contacts that will open doors for the Nets to have access to top performance programs and techniques from around the world. Working in conjunction with our elite medical team from the Hospital for Special Surgery, we will be able to provide our players with the highest level of care possible, giving them every advantage to reach their maximum level of performance."
Here are the bios supplied by the Nets:
Zach Weatherford joins the Nets after spending the past two years as human performance manager at the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command. Weatherford was appointed as the first Naval Special Warfare human performance program manager to facilitate the program across the Navy SEAL/SWCC Force of over 8,500 active duty personnel. From 2010-14, Weatherford served as human performance manager for the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Group ONE. Prior to his military experience, Weatherford held multiple roles with the U.S. Olympic Committee. From 2007-09, Weatherford held the position of sport physiologist for the U.S. Olympic Committee, where he led a multidisciplinary team of science-based human performance professionals which implemented platforms across 17 U.S. Olympic Team programs. In addition, Weatherford served as the strength and conditioning/video specialist for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team from 2004-07 and as strength and conditioning coordinator for the U.S. Olympic Committee from 2000-04. Throughout his time with the U.S. Olympic program, Weatherford was on staff for three Olympic Games (2004-Athens, 2006-Torino, 2008-Beijing). A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Weatherford received a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology along with a sport science degree.
Dan Meehan comes to Brooklyn after serving the past six years as head strength and conditioning coach/sport scientist for the North Melbourne Football Club in Australia. In his role with the club, Meehan was responsible for developing and implementing individual training programs for 45 Australian Rules Football players, which included strength and power training, conditioning, speed and agility work, injury prevention and corrective exercise techniques. Meehan also worked in the same capacity for the Melbourne Tigers of the Australian National Basketball League during the 2011-12 season. Previously, Meehan spent five years as a physical preparation coach at the Victorian Institute of Sport in Melbourne working with Olympic and World Championship medalists in numerous sports. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Meehan received his Bachelor of Exercise Science degree and Honors research degree from Australian Catholic University in Melbourne.
Lloyd Beckett joined the Nets in 2014, and for the past two seasons has held the dual role of director of physical therapy and assistant athletic trainer. He was honored as the Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year for the 2014-15 season. Prior to joining the Nets, Beckett worked with the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations as a physical therapist in 2014. Beckett also spent two years as a physical therapist at the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Institute and has held sports medicine internships with the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, New England Patriots and Providence College. A native of Falmouth, Maine, Beckett received his Bachelor of Science and Doctorate of Physical Therapy degrees from Northeastern University. He also holds a Master of Science degree from Bridgewater State University.
Aisling Toolan joins the Nets after spending the past five years as a physical therapist at the Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation and Performance Center. In addition, Toolan served as the physical therapist for NYCFC during the 2015 MLS season. In 2014, Toolan completed a rotation at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where she worked with National Team gymnasts, fencers, wrestlers and weightlifters. Toolan received her Bachelor of Science degree in physiotherapy from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Stony Brook University. The former Irish international soccer player and native of Dublin is also a board certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy.
Marks still has several front office positions left to fill, including at least two assistant coaches.