Jack Marucci, LSU’s longtime Director of Athletic Training, is moving to the role of Director of Performance Innovation, director of athletics Scott Woodward announced on Wednesday.
In his new role, Marucci, who has served as LSU’s Director of Athletic Training for 25 years, will use his expertise in sports science to continue to develop new ways for all of LSU’s student-athletes to prosper in competition. Marucci’s new position is believed to be the first of its kind in college athletics.
“Jack has always had a knack for innovation, and this new position will allow for his groundbreaking ideas to be taken advantage of by our student-athletes across all sports,” Woodward said. “At LSU, we are committed to elite athletics and providing the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level.
“Championship programs require an extraordinary amount of dedication to be the best, in addition to an inventive approach to gain a competitive advantage. Our goal is for our sport performance and sports medicine departments to be transformational for our athletics programs.”
In Marucci’s 25 years leading LSU’s athletic training staff, his work has been instrumental in helping the Tigers win three national championships and five Southeastern Conference titles in football.
Some of Marucci’s recent projects that helped elevate the LSU football program include eye dominance/eye tracking testing, which was done for the first time following the 2018 season. Marucci’s findings on eye tracking testing helped position LSU for the best passing and receiving season in school history in 2019, which ultimately led to an undefeated season and a national title. He also has contributed to significant work around concussion prevention, core temperature monitoring, and ACL repair and recovery.
“Jack is the most innovative trainer I have ever worked with,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “He was an integral part of building the culture of our championship program, and he will be a tremendous asset to us in his new role. His ability to take cutting edge technology, and use it to study performance in order to help us develop our players, is the best in the nation.”
In addition to his eye tracking study, other recent works from Marucci and his staff include quantitative character studies, SportsSense testing focused on an athletes’ cognitive skill set, and athletes’ processing and reaction times.
Marucci introduced LSU football to the “Seeker,” the first robotic quarterback in football, which allows the Tiger wide receivers to get unlimited reps any time of year without having to wear out the arm of a quarterback.
“We are very fortunate because LSU has allowed us to do these types of studies and explore how the science of sports can be beneficial to us,” Marucci said. “Every study we have done has had the full support of Coach Orgeron. He understands the importance of these studies and they use the data that we provide him. It keeps you motivated and makes you eager to find the next opportunity that can give us an edge.
“Our administration has given us their full support as we plan to grow this area across all sports. In order to do these studies, you have to have a great staff and I’m surrounded by talented people. We have a great team, including the kinesiology department on campus, that make all of this possible.”
As part of Marucci’s position, he will utilize his existing relationships to foster collaboration and bring awareness to LSU’s commitment to innovation in an effort to raise money to help support the program. In addition, Marucci will also assist with the creation of a program to keep former student-athletes involved in LSU Athletics after the completion of their college careers. Marucci has always advocated for LSU’s student-athletes to have a meaningful and sustainable life beyond sport and this program will provide an opportunity for long-term support.