Top international coach joins the university sports team at Brighton
Leading international sport performance and conditioning coach Dan Howells has joined University of Brighton’s renowned Sport and Health Sciences school.
Dan has worked at the highest levels of professional sport in both the UK and US, and will bring a wealth of insight to the student experience in terms of physical development and sports science across an array of degrees. It’s a welcome return for Dan too, as he began his professional coaching career at University of Brighton back in 2006, before embarking on a career training elite professionals across multiple sports.
Much of Dan’s work has been in the field of rugby union, including being Head of Physical Performance for England Rugby Union GB7s, as well as leading strength and conditioning programmes for England Women RFU and London Wasps Premiership team. He was also closely involved in performance programmes for young players from Under-13s upward for England Women’s Rugby.
His coaching successes include Olympic Silver at Rio 2016 and the 2018 World Cup Silver Medal for the GB7s men, plus the 2010 World Cup finalist medal for the women’s team.
Dan also spent three years working in Major League Baseball in the USA, where he was Director of Strength & Conditioning for the Houston Astros until last year. He has also brought his expertise to a wide array of other sports, including Wheelchair Rugby, England Squash, GB Cycling, England Netball, GB Hockey, GB Adaptive Rowing, British Fencing and GB Judo.
Dan Howells, Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Health Sciences, said: “What attracted me to the role at Brighton was the desire to align academic studies with sports industry specific employment. Not only are the courses I will be teaching focused on strength and conditioning fundamentals, but there is a large component and intention from the course leaders to develop industry ready coaches.
“Having worked in elite sport since leaving University of Brighton in 2006, I have seen how vital for career success in any student it is to gain experience in strength and conditioning. I am also excited about taking the lead on elements such as placement experiences that students gain at University of Brighton, by utilising a number of contacts from my time working in sport.”
Floris Pietzsch, MSc and BSc Strength and Conditioning course leader at University of Brighton, said: “The University of Brighton is continuing its developments with a new undergraduate degree in Strength and Conditioning due to start in September 2022. Dan’s appointment marks a significant step forward in delivering a high quality programme, and having someone of his experience will be hugely beneficial to students wishing to have a future in the industry.”