Josh Kock: Baker’s first full-time strength and conditioning coach


Aalia Khan

Josh Kock has been working as the university’s weights and conditioning coach since the summer of 2022.

Josh Kock, Baker alumnus and former football assistant coach, was invited to be the university’s first strength and conditioning coach in the summer of 2022. Less than a year later, he’s been working hard to create a positive culture in the weight room.

Kock attended Baker as a student from 2012 to 2016. After graduating, he came back to be an assistant coach for Baker’s football program and worked part-time in the weight room in the summer of 2021. However, when offered the position of strength and conditioning coach, Kock knew exactly what role needed to be and couldn’t give up a dream of his since he came to Baker.

“It’s always been a lifelong goal of mine and [I’ve] been living out a dream of mine ever since I was here,” Kock said.

During most of his time at Baker, going into the Special Forces in the U.S. Army was the only career path that Kock pursued. However, a partial tear in his ACL prevented him from enrolling in either and made him decide to find where the next step in his life would take him.

As time progressed, Kock realized that he would have to complete an undergraduate internship before he could receive his degree in Exercise Science. He went on to intern at the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a strength and conditioning coach. After graduation, Kock got brought on as a full-time employee for UMKC.

But six months into his job at UMKC, Kock found out that he felt unfulfilled because he wasn’t working with a football program. He decided that he would take a low-paying position at Illinois College as an assistant football coach along with the strength and conditioning coach.

“As a strengths coach, you have to be comfortable with working for no money and working for free,” Kock said. “And I tell people all the time that I wouldn’t be here doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for my wife.”

A year passed and Kock received a call from Baker’s former head football coach, Jason Thoren, informing him that there was a position available at Baker. After further thought, Kock thought that this would be his opportunity to work his way to the top. He hoped to one day be a full-time strength and conditioning coach that would work with all sports.

One semester later, Kock was given the title of head strength and conditioning coach. Then Kock set out to start creating a culture that he has always dreamed of.

“[It’s] a culture that works hard, a culture that wants to win, a culture that wants to do what it takes to be successful,” Kock said. “I try to be as positive as an influence so that they can continue to grow and see success and be everything they want to be from an athletic perspective.”

Kock has already been working to build that culture in the weight room over the past semester and share it with student athletes. Freshman Sam Vossman, who plays on Baker’s football team, has already noted Kock’s efforts.

“Coach Kock isn’t doing it like any other weights coach out there. He is going out of his way to provide the best workout for the sport you are in,” Vossman said. “He loves it when people are dedicated in the weight room and actually want to better themselves.”

Freshman Olivia Morgan, a member of the women’s tennis team, shares a phrase that Kock lives by in the weight room.

“The saying is ‘FEED’: Focus, effort, energy, discipline. We say this before every workout to have the right mindset,” Morgan said. “This phrase can be easily applied to our life and that’s what I love.”

Kock sees a bright future looking and hopes for proof one day that he has successfully taken his student athletes to the next level.

“I want to help many sports get to that national level,” Kock said. “I want to be the best strengths coach that I possibly can and if that turns into this program being recognized as one of the best in the country, it’s a great reflection of the hard work that I have put in.”