Jim Radcliffe: The Man Who Makes Oregon Go


All programs have them and they are often overlooked by the fans. They are the people who transform incoming freshmen into future stars.

These unsung heroes are the strength and conditioning coaches, and they are just as important to the program as each position coach. Without them, no amount of scouting or play calling would help the team win.  Fans of Oregon have grown accustomed to seeing players run the offense at breakneck speeds.

However, without the strength and conditioning coaches, Oregon would be just as slow as Stanford. While all sports at Oregon are assigned a specific conditioning coach, the man most responsible for the speed at Oregon is Jim Radcliffe.

There is a reason why teams break down when they play the Oregon offense. It is true that positions at Oregon run two and even three players deep.

But the main reason is that Radcliffe has conditioned the players to be able to run at a high tempo on offense.

If you just look around the country, whenever a team comes to play Oregon, they try to cram in as much conditioning as possible in preparation for the tempo. Most of the time they end up failing to be prepared for one reason — we have Radcliffe and they don’t. This has led teams to take desperate measures — particularly Cal, as they have been caught faking injuries to slow Oregon down.

If there was one word to describe Oregon, it would be speed – and Radcliffe is directly responsible for it. For the past 29 years he has been leading Oregon by making athletes bigger, stronger and faster. Not only has he been in charge of building up the football team, but he cares for the track & field and the baseball teams, as well. Since he has been the head strength and  conditioning coach, Oregon has won seven Pac-10/12 titles, two Rose Bowls, and two Fiesta Bowls. As for track & field, his program has led to 11 men’s and women’s national championships, as well as an astounding 23 Pac-10/12 conference championships.

In the rain with no jacket he intimidates foes with a glare

Steve Francis

In the rain with no jacket he intimidates foes with a glare.

Under his lead, the football and track and field programs have thrived, leading to some crossover athletes. We all know of the exploits of Devon Allen, but he is just the latest of a long line. De’anthony Thomas, Lamichael James, Kenjon Barner and Jordan Kent have all had success in both sports, thanks in big part to Radcliffe’s training regimen.

As shown below, colleges and athletes hold a great deal of respect for Radcliffe, not only because he produces results, but because he is also one of the most intimidating people you will ever meet.

Still unconvinced as to how integral Radcliffe is to the success at Oregon? Get a copy of the Mighty Oregon DVD. Follow how Oregon has changed from a Pac-10 doormat into the class of the conference. This DVD is all the proof anyone will ever need to appreciate the work Radcliffe has done, and what he means to Oregon.

There is a reason why Oregon has been able to maintain a high level of success over the past six years.  We have lost all-time greats such as Marcus Mariota, Josh Huff and Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

Radcliffe, however, has been able to develop players to be not only as good as, but often better than, their predecessors. As long as Radcliffe continues to be a part of the Oregon program we will continue to be the fastest school in the country.


Featured Photo by Ryan Kang

Article Inspiration Mighty Oregon DVD

For more on Oregon’s rise to a Pac-12 power at  http://www.mightyoregondvd.com/

Mighty Oregon

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Henry Swift

Henry Swift

Born and raised in Springfield, Oregon, I am a Lifelong Duck fan. I have been following the football team since the Joey Harrington years. I am a senior at the University of Oregon, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration. I am also a former member of the University of Oregon cheer team, which has allowed me to travel to the past four bowl games and the inaugural college football playoff. I am always the one asking my friends if they have heard the latest sports-related news, and am the one who usually ends up informing them on the subject. I look forward to talking with my new friends about the latest sports news.

  • dunkonyerhed

    I think much of the reason for Oregon’s tempo success is that they do it all the time. It’s who they are. While I understand and appreciate your thoughts about Radcliffe, I think it’s more the system that Oregon runs and the fact that they do it all the time. You can’t replicate that in one week of preparation.

  • Grass Roots

    If you train players for speed and you ignore strength, you will predictably have injuries. I am not impressed with the Duck strength coach, too many injuries to key players.

    • DSweet

      Your observation is correct.

  • Michael McCabe

    I have been very impressed with the strength and conditioning that the Duck athletes get. The results speak for themselves! Injuries happen to all athletes. Go Ducks!!!

  • DSweet

    The Ducks are fast but they are not strong. Ducks continue to get beat by teams that have physically strong players especially linemen.

    Radcliffe has the Ducks train with Olympic lifts. These will NEVER make a player strong. Bench press, military press, rows, squats , deadlift and good mornings are the CORE of a strength training program . These lifts build strength when using HEAVY weights.

    Yes the Ducks do some strength training but not enough. Too much time wasted on Olympic lifts, hindu squats, and all the other goofy things that pop out of Radcliffe’s head. Radcliffe has adopted the silly “functional strength” mythology.

    Little wonder the Ducks get beat and beat up by physical teams like Ohio State and have so many injuries.

    Time for a change.