Memphis trainer is effective, mysterious

New Memphis strength and conditioning coach Frank Matrisciano is an interesting guy. A trainer to top NBA and college players, he was hired this offseason by Memphis coach Josh Pastner, who probably won't be putting a photo of the guy in a media guide.

That's because Matrisciano does not wish his face to be shown. When Andy Katz did a story on Blake Griffin working out a few years ago, Matrisciano showed up "wearing his usual attire: boots, wraparound shades, a military desert sun hat, a weight jacket and long-sleeved shirt, shorts and, just in case the sand starts swirling, a pullover face-mask hood."

Pictures of Matrisciano have appeared with his face covered, and now that the workout guru is working for Memphis, the mystery continues.

As if he were after Bigfoot, Jason Smith of The Commercial Appeal recently came close to getting a glimpse of Matrisciano, who has not been interviewed since joining the program.

I heard a voice from the behind the blue partition screaming. I gathered it was Frank, and wanted so badly to peep around the tarp to watch Matrisciano in action. From his tone, I could tell he was pushing one of the players to give him more, but I couldn't tell which one he was yelling at.

"Is that Frank yelling?" I asked senior guard Preston Laird as he walked past me.

"I'm not saying anything," Laird answered, smiling.


As I made my way out of the Finch Center, I passed by the partition and looked at the players working out with a middle-aged man in a vest jacket and shorts. "That must be Frank!" I thought to myself. "It's gotta be." I looked up and spotted a worn out Ferrakohn Hall watching from the second level of the Finch. I asked Hall, "Is that him? Is that Frank?" Hall smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

What we do know is that Matrisciano is effective. He's worked with such players as Griffin and Gilbert Arenas and developed a cult following that has resulted in a gig with Pastner.

Already, it's paying dividends for Memphis, as Smith reports that freshman Adonis Thomas, ESPNU's ninth-ranked recruit in the nation has put on a tremendous amount of muscle.

Having spent the last two-and-a-half weeks getting accustomed to college-level coaching and conditioning, University of Memphis freshman Adonis Thomas stood before the media Tuesday, his arms and chest bulging underneath his white T-shirt.

During his senior year at Melrose High, the PARADE and McDonald's All-American weighed about 205 pounds.

Fast forward to now, with the Tigers in the midst of individual workouts and following a summer in which he trained regularly with first-year strength and conditioning coach Frank Matrisciano, and the 6-7 Thomas is a much thicker 230 pounds.

The results of Matrisciano's work can be found in the muscles of Memphis players. The resulting smile from him apparently won't be seen.