by Kyle Parkinson
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Head Coach Sam Pittman has named Ben Sowders as the Razorbacks’ new Director of Strength & Conditioning.
Sowders comes to Arkansas after spending the 2022 season at Louisville as the Director of Strength & Conditioning for the Cardinals. This past season the Cardinals went 7-5 and earned a spot in the Fenway Bowl.
Sowders worked with Pittman at Georgia during the 2018-19 seasons – Sowders’ first of four seasons with the Bulldogs. As the Asistant Director of Strength & Conditioning, he worked with 20 student-athletes that went onto play in the NFL while also helping the Dawgs to the 2022 National Championship and three trips to the SEC Championship Game.
Prior to his time at Georgia, the Bowling Green, Ky. Native spent one season at McNeese State as the Director of Strength & Conditioning. The Cowboys posted a 9-2 record in his lone season in Lake Charles, La. Sowders spent two seasons at Georgia Tech (2015-16) after two seasons at Gardner-Webb, where he was responsible for the training of the Bulldogs’ 21 Division I programs.
His first full-time collegiate position was at Southern Miss, where he led the strength and conditioning efforts for the Golden Eagles’ men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and softball programs while assisting with football. Prior to his time in Hattiesburg, Miss., He fulfilled a six-month internship at Alabama, where he worked with the Crimson Tide’s football, volleyball, tennis and rowing teams.
Sowders earned his start in strength and conditioning as a Facility Coordinator and Head Strength & Speed coach at D1 Sports Training in Nashville, Tenn. While at D1 Sports, he worked with numerous NFL players, including Steve Smith, Jerome Bettis, Donovan McNabb and Kyle Vanden Bosch.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Western Kentucky in December 2008 after playing for the Hilltoppers as a linebacker. Sowders began his career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship and becoming a two-year starter. As a senior in 2008, he recorded 47 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss for the Hilltoppers and added 29 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss as a junior in 2007.
He received his master’s degree in recreation and sport administration in August of 2010 from WKU. He is a member of the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa), a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and certified by USA Weightlifting.
Sowders is married to the former Shelbee Rodgers.
The Sowders File
Birthdate: Dec. 20, 1985
College: Western Kentucky, 2008 B.S. Exercise Science; 2010 M.S. Recreation and Sport Administration
Family: Wife – Shelbee Rodgers
2022 Louisville (Director of Strength & Conditioning)
2018-21 Georgia (Assistant Director of Strength & Conditioning)
2017 McNeese State (Director of Strength & Conditioning)
2015-16 Georgia Tech (Assistant Director of Player Development)
2013-14 Gardner-Webb (Director of Strength & Conditioning)
2012-13 Southern Miss (Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach)
2005-08 Western Kentucky