Yancy McKnight was named Director for Football Sports Performance at Houston on Jan. 8, 2015.
McKnight arrived in Houston after serving the past six seasons as Director of Strength & Conditioning at Iowa State.
While at Iowa State, McKnight helped mentor seven Cyclones who have gone onto to play in the NFL (Reggie Stephens, David Sims, Leonard Johnson, Kelechi Osemele, A.J. Klein, Jake Knott, Jeremiah George) and improved the Cyclones strength and conditioning stature of the program by leaps and bounds as ISU participated in three bowls during his time in Ames.
Besides Paul Rhoads, McKnight has worked under some of football's most successful and innovative coaches, including Les Miles of LSU, Todd Graham of Arizona State and David Bailiff of Rice.
Other NFL players who have worked under McKnight's eye include: Kevin Williams, Antonio Smith, Billy Bajema, Charlie Johnson, James Casey, Andrew Sendejo, Jarrett Dillard and Tramon Williams.
McKnight worked at Rice (2006-08) prior to his arrival at Iowa State. McKnight's guidance in the weight room was credited by the players as a key component in the Owls' magical run to a bowl game in 2006. In 2008, Rice posted one of its best seasons in school history, compiling a 10-3 mark, including a 38-14 win over Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl.
The 2006 Owls showed a level of endurance that allowed them to battle back and win three times on the last offensive play of the game, due in large part to McKnight's conditioning and strength retention programs. Again in 2007, the Owls proved to be a formidable opponent throughout each game, winning a pair of games on their last possession. In 2008, the conditioning of the Rice players was key in the Owls' drive to being named West Division co-champions of Conference USA.
McKnight is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), a certified strength and conditioning coach (SCCC), and a USA Weightlifting Level I certified coach.
McKnight was a Division II All-American on the offensive line at Missouri Southern, earning his degree from the school in 2001. He was inducted into the Missouri Southern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.
He is married to the former Lynn Karns and they are the parents of sons, Brody and Brock.