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McGinest: Lions’ Nash an innovative strength coach

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Harold Nash

Harold Nash spent 11 seasons as a strength and conditioning coach for the Patriots, and one former New England player said Nash will bring new ideas to help keep Lions players stronger, faster and healthier.

“Harold’s a champion, man,” former Patriots outside linebacker Willie McGinest said recently.

The Lions hired Nash last month, less than a week after the Patriots fired him. Like a few other recent hires in Detroit, Nash has ties to new Lions general manager Bob Quinn, who worked in New England for the past 16 years.

Although the Patriots never provided a reason for Nash’s dismissal, the team had a rash of injuries to key players in 2015, though they still advanced to the AFC championship game.

Now an analyst for NFL Network, McGinest’s final year in New England was 2005, when Nash arrived as the assistant strength and conditioning coach. Although they spent just one year together, McGinest said they know each other well and that Nash’s 11-year career in the Canadian Football League prepared him for his current career.

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“He played the sport, so he understands it,” McGinest said. “When I was going there and he was there, we always talked about new and different ways to get the football players stronger, faster, for a longer period of time.

“And I could just say that he’s young at what he’s doing, and he’s continuously getting better and better. He’s not afraid to go and research, talk to other people and try to come up with one formula to make guys stay on the football field for a long period of time and play at a high level.”

Before being promoted to head strength and conditioning coach in New England in 2011, Nash worked as the assistant to Mike Woicik, who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and three with the Cowboys.