New Illini coach Tank Wright: “Impacting lives–that’s my true passion”


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — There might not be anyone more dedicated to the weight room quite like Tank Wright–he’s gone as far as getting married in a weight room. The Tennessee native was most recently named as the head strength and conditioning coach at Illinois under new head coach Bret Bielema.

Tenarius Wright, was coined ‘Tank’ when he was younger playing football. “Screaming the name Tenarius is something a coach doesn’t want to do,” said Wright. He embraces grit and toughness, and says his mantra for the weightroom is ’bout dat action.’

He played for the Arkansas Razorbacks from 2008-12, and was signed as an undrafted free agent to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before trying out for the Kansas City Chiefs. Wright said he turned down a career in the NFL to pursue his true passion of helping athletes reach their best potential.

“It’s the game of football and impacting guys’ lives in any capacity. That’s my true passion. To get those guys to the next level,” said Wright. “That’s what my life is all about, seeing guys take that next step and doing things they never thought they could do.”

Wright went back to Arkansas to join Bielema’s staff there as an assistant strength coach. He joins Illinois after working as the defensive line coach at Army West Point.

“Being around a coach like Coach B, I think I’m very fortunate to say that I learned from some of the best,” said Wright.

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