Auburn baseball has added Chris Joyner as its new strength and conditioning coach, head coach Butch Thompson announced Wednesday.
“We saw the hiring of a new strength and conditioning coach as an opportunity to go out and get the best, and that’s exactly what we think we have in Chris,” Thompson said.
Joyner has spent the last 16 years working in professional baseball at the minor and major league levels. He started as a strength and conditioning intern in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system in 2002.
Joyner was promoted to strength and conditioning coordinator in 2003 for the Blue Jays minor league teams. His first stint at the position at the major league level came with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2007-2010. His most recent job was again as a major league strength and conditioning coordinator with the Blue Jays from 2014-2017.
“Having worked alongside Chris for four years in Toronto, I can say that the Tigers will be getting an outstanding strength coach, a great leader and, more importantly, a quality person and citizen who will positively impact the community,” former Blue Jay Jose Bautista said. “I have no doubt that Chris will be a great addition to an already excellent University and baseball program, and I’m sure he will help them achieve their future goals.”
Joyner has worked with 18 all-stars, including former Auburn Tiger, 2015 American League MVP and 2015 Hank Aaron Award winner, Josh Donaldson.
“Chris helped me accomplish several things,” Donaldson said. “One, staying healthy, and two, developing a program that was essential to me becoming the MVP in 2015.”
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Joyner has worked with seven Sliver Slugger Award winners, two Hank Aaron Award winners, a Gold Glove winner, a National League Rookie of the Year and National Baseball Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman. Joyner also worked with the late Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, during his time in the Blue Jays organization.
“It is with great confidence and pleasure that I give my personal support of my former strength and conditioning coach, (Chris Joyner),” Hoffman said. “It isn’t solely because of his knowledge of developing personal and very specific programs for his guys. It’s his passion for seeing guys improve mentally and physically through they hard work the put in.”
During his time with the Brewers, the team had their first postseason appearance in 2008 after 26 years. Joyner was also a part of the Blue Jays back-to-back American League Championship Series appearances in 2015 and 2016.
“Potential student-athletes who come to the SEC have a dream of winning championships and playing the game past college,” Thompson said. “Chris has coached and trained the best in the world.”
Joyner is a native of Reddick, Florida, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2001. He is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association as well as the Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society.
He is married to the former Heidi Gillam with whom he shares two sons, Nolan and Grey, and a daughter, Leighton.
“I want to thank Coach Thompson for the opportunity to become a part of the Auburn baseball program,” Joyner said. “I’m honored to be working with such a knowledgeable staff and accomplished players, and I look forward to building on the team’s momentum and success of the 2018 season.”
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