Jon McBride | Posted: 30 Aug 2021 | Updated: 13 Sep 2021

BYU mental strength coach Craig Manning to join Milwaukee Bucks staff

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Craig Manning graphic announcing Milwaukee Bucks position

PROVO, Utah — After 29 years at BYU, most recently 10 years as the mental strength coach for BYU Athletics, Craig Manning is leaving his position at BYU to work with the the NBA-champion Milwaukee Bucks as health and performance director.

Manning has been working part-time with the Bucks for the past four and a half years. Manning also works with the US Ski and US Snowboarding teams, Red Bull High Performance and a number of corporate organizations around the world.

“BYU has been home and family for me since I moved here 29 years ago,” Manning said. “I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing student athletes, coaches and athletic directors. I feel very fortunate to be able to now go forth to work with the Milwaukee Bucks family.”

Manning has also worked as an adjunct professor of performance psychology at BYU. He will continue in this role moving forward, teaching online.

“We are thrilled for Craig and this new opportunity ahead of him,” said Tom Holmoe, BYU director of athletics. ”Our student-athletes, coaches and teams have been so blessed to have been able to learn from him, an absolute expert — if not the foremost expert — in his field. His combination of rigorous academic training and personal professional athletic experience is unique. Our student-athletes, coaches and teams are stronger because of what Craig has done here. Craig will always be a member of our BYU Cougar family.”

Manning earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from BYU (1995), a master's degree in psychology (2000) and a doctorate in sports psychology (2006) from the University of Utah. Manning's thesis examined the attributions of athletes across all sports. Two publications resulted from this study.

During the late 80s Manning traveled the world playing on the professional tennis tour as an amateur. He traveled, practiced and played with many of the world’s top professionals, while traveling through France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungry and Holland. Manning then went on to play Division I collegiate tennis at BYU.

Upon completion of his eligibility as a BYU tennis player, Manning was hired on as a full-time assistant coach at BYU. After four years as an assistant coach (two years with the men's program and two years with the women's program), Manning was selected as the head coach for the BYU women's tennis team. At the time Manning became one of the youngest Division I head coaches in the country. In 10 years as head coach, the BYU women's tennis team won four Mountain West Conference titles. Manning been honored with the Mountain West coach of the year award three times (2001, 2005, 2007) and also received the NCAA regional coach of the year award in 2005.