Ross Kolodziej, who played seven years in the National Football League following a distinguished collegiate career at Wisconsin, is in his first year as head football strength and conditioning coach at Pitt.
Kolodziej (pronounced ka-la-gee) was promoted to the post after serving the Panthers as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2013.
A stout defensive tackle, Kolodziej started 45 games for the Badgers from 1997-2000. He helped Wisconsin claim back-to-back Big Ten titles (1998 and 1999) and compile a four-year record of 38-12 (.760). Wisconsin went 3-1 in bowl games during his career, including two Rose Bowl victories.
Kolodziej still holds Wisconsin weight room records for a defensive player in the squat and clean. He also holds defensive lineman records in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and pro-agility drill.
A two-sport athlete in college, Kolodziej was a shot putter at Wisconsin and a member of the Badgers' 2000 and 2001 indoor and outdoor track and field Big Ten championship teams.
A seventh-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2001, Kolodziej played seven seasons in the NFL and two more in the United Football League (UFL). In addition to the Giants, he spent time with the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. His most productive NFL season came in 2005 when he started 14 games for Arizona's top-10 defensive unit.
He played with the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives in 2009 and 2010. A team captain, he helped the franchise to two league championships.
During the 2009 offseason, Kolodziej was a full-time strength and conditioning intern at Wisconsin. The following offseason, he worked with the Badgers as a defensive graduate assistant.
He owns a bachelor's degree in sociology from Wisconsin and also has a certification in USA weightlifting, level 1. Kolodziej and his wife Miriam have two daughters, Elizabeth and Taylor, and two sons, Asher and Abram.
|BORN||May 11, 1978|
|HOMETOWN||Stevens Point, Wis.|
|ALMA MATER||Wisconsin, 2009|
|FAMILY||Kolodziej and his wife Miriam have two daughters, Elizabeth and Taylor, and two sons, Asher and Abram|
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