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Former UW strength coach Brett Brungardt takes guesswork out of athletic testing

Originally published Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 4:47 PM

By Jerry Brewer

Seattle Times staff columnist


Brett Brungardt likes to joke about his failures as a strength and conditioning coach. It’s funny because he didn’t really fail; he was just the victim of deceptive testing.

“I came to the realization that I wasn’t a very good strength coach because, every year, the head coach in whatever sport I was working with, would come to me and say, ‘What’s so-and-so benching? What’s his 40 time? What’s his vertical?’ ” said Brungardt, whose 25-year career in professional and collegiate sports included a stint at Washington from 2002 to 2008. “I’d look it up and recite where he was. And the coach would say, ‘When I recruited him, he was benching this or running 4.5 40-yard dash. And it’s still the same. Why isn’t he better?’ I’d just shake my head. During the recruiting process, coaches weren’t getting reliable information.”

Throughout his career, Brungardt kept those stories in the back of his mind. Between chuckles, he often pondered what he could do to get less biased information. Four years ago, after leaving Washington, he traveled the world in pursuit of better ways to test. Then he decided to start his own business, Basic Athletic Measurement, which marries training and technology to evaluate athletes more accurately.

BAM testing is a local hidden gem that is growing in popularity. The NBA uses Brungardt and his team to measure draft prospects. Brungardt oversees the testing at all the major pre-draft events, including the NBA Draft Combine, Portsmouth Invitational and Eurocamp.