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LCHS grad Brian Puckett joins staff of LSU men’s basketball program

Brian Puckett, formerly of Rogersville, recently joined the athletics staff at Louisiana State University as the strength & conditioning coach of the men’s basketball program.

Coach Puckett is a graduate of Lauderdale County High School (Class of 2013) and the University of North Alabama.

He comes to LSU after two years at Murray State, where he worked as Director of Strength and Conditioning for the school’s basketball, golf, and women’s tennis programs.

Puckett previously spent time as a strength and conditioning coach with Georgia Southern’s football program, preceded by a stint at his alma mater UNA, where he served as the strength and conditioning coach for men’s basketball.

Coach Puckett credits his mentors throughout the years, along with the work ethic that was instilled in him as a young student-athlete at Lauderdale County High School, for his fast-track success in the hard-scrabble world of college athletics.

In a phone interview with this newspaper earlier this week, Coach Puckett noted, “The blue collar attitude that was instilled in me on that dusty junior high practice field at LCHS was instrumental in shaping my work ethic to this day.”

Coach Puckett is quick to credit others along the way who have mentored, motivated and encouraged him.

He said, “The feeling of family on that LCHS [varsity] team — I can’t say enough about those guys and our coaches, Coach [Bob] Grisham and Coach [Jeff] Mason.”

“Regarding the success I’ve had in conditioning my student-athletes, most recently our success at Murray State,” he said. “I give so much credit to what I learned when working at Peak Performance several years ago, from guys like William Hale and David Sweatt.”

Speaking of mentors, Coach Puckett recalled being recruited to play college football by fellow LCHS alumnus Cody Gross, who as quarterback helped lead UNA to three consecutive Division II national championships from 1993 to 1995.

Gross, who is currently the head football coach at Athens High School, was UNA’s offensive coordinator when Puckett was a senior in high school.

Coach Puckett said, “Just the credibility and character of Cody Gross — it’s a no-brainer to play for him, to learn from him and to work for him.”

Coach Puckett also credits new LSU head coach Matt McMahon, whom Puckett worked for at Murray State, along with UNA men’s basketball coach Tony Pujol, the entire UNA basketball staff, the University of Miami’s Aaron Feld (who was Puckett’s strength coach at UNA), “and of course the most important part of my support system, my wife Megan.”

Coach Puckett said he wants to encourage others to pursue their passions, just like his mentors encouraged him.

“I want people to know they can dream big and succeed,” he said. “I’m proud of where I’m from, and I’m so appreciative of my mentors along the way.”

“People reach out to you, you meet so many people, players from all over, from big cities like Atlanta,” he added. “I want people to know where I’m from — I’m proud to tell people that I went to Lauderdale County High School and UNA in Alabama.”

“And a special thank you to my mom [Amy Puckett],” he added. “She is the hardest-working person I know. I thank her so much for all her support.”

(Screencaps courtesy LSU Athletics / @LSUBasketball)

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