Mark McKown has over 25 years of experience working with professional athletes, 21 of those as Director of Sports Science, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Player Development Coach for the Utah Jazz. McKown became the franchise’s first full-time strength-and-conditioning coach on September 29, 1997.
His experience, combined with the opportunity to work with, and learn from, some of the best sports science and performance experts in the U.S., has allowed him to develop a sports science and performance model that has been embraced by athletes, sport organizations and teams, as well as by his peers and other sports performance experts. His model includes, but is not limited to, a performance needs analysis designed to access sport specific athletic movement skills and identify injury indicators utilizing, among other things, the latest advances in performance testing technology. McKown is a trend setter, being the first NBA strength coach to work with Dr. Marcus Elliott and his P3 (Peak Performance Project) Team, located in Santa Barbara, CA. Today, the ‘P3’ model of assessing and training elite athletes is being used by many professional organizations.
While Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Sports Performance at the College of Charleston (SC) from 1992-97, McKown assisted the Knicks in their pre and post season preparations at the college for five seasons. McKown’s other job experience includes stints as assistant basketball coach and strength trainer at Charleston, Jacksonville University, and the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg (now South Carolina Upstate).
McKown’s prowess in strength training has garnered him national attention. In 2002 he published his first book, “Complete Body Development with Dumbbells,” and was featured in “Fundamental Fitness for Kids,” a workout video he co-wrote and produced in November 2003.
A native of Gaffney, S.C., McKown graduated from the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg (now South Carolina Upstate) in 1980, where he played basketball. He then earned a master’s degree in sports science from the United States Sports Academy in Mobile, Ala. McKown is also a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association where he is certified as a strength-and-conditioning specialist. McKown also holds various other professional certifications.
McKown and his wife, Sonja, are the parents of two children, Zachariah, a 2014 graduate, and 4 year football player from Columbia University, and Kallie, a former Colonial Athletic Association Setter of the Year, and 2015 graduate from the College of Charleston.
An avid outdoors-man, McKown enjoys off-trail hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking and kayaking. The McKowns reside in Salt Lake City.