Jon Sanderson has been the head strength and conditioning coach for the University of Michigan men’s basketball team as well as the U-M men’s and women’s golf programs since 2009. He is regarded as one of the top basketball/golf strength and conditioning coaches in the business. Sanderson is the only strength and conditioning coach in NCAA history to participate in a Final Four as a player (1999, Ohio State) and a coach (2013 and 2018, Michigan).
In his ten seasons in Ann Arbor, Sanderson has helped the Wolverine basketball program to 8 NCAA Tournament bids, including trips to the 2013 Final Four — the first for the program in 20 years, followed by a return trip to the Elite Eight in 2014 and an appearance in the National Championship game in 2018. In addition to NCAA postseason play, U-M has won two Big Ten titles, including 2012, which was the first for the program since 1986. The Wolverines also won their first outright Big Ten title in 28 years in 2014 with a 15-3 record, winning the league by three games and have won the Big Ten Tournament in back-to-back seasons (2017 & 2018).
Sanderson’s work with the U-M men’s golf program has yielded eight NCAA regional bids with five team and three individual, as well as a top-10 national finish (2010-11). In addition to postseason successes, the Maize and Blue has collected 42 top-five team finishes with six titles and 15 individual medalist honors. Sanderson has been instrumental in the development of All-America golfers Lion Kim (2011) and Kyle Mueller (2017) as well as All-Big Ten golfers Kim (2010, ’11), Matt Thompson (2010, ’12), Chris O’Neill (2014), and Mueller (2015, ’16, ’17, ’18).
Additionally, with the help of Sanderson’s program, Kim competed in the 2011 Masters, while Mueller played in the 2016 U.S. Open and three straight U.S. Amateur Championships (2015, ’16, ’17) and Nick Carlson was a semifinalist at the 2016 U.S. Amateur.
With the women’s golf program, Sanderson has five NCAA regional appearances — four team and one individual. In 2016, the women’s team advanced to just the program’s second-ever trip to the NCAA finals. The following year, the Wolverines repeated the feat advancing again and tying for 16th– the highest finish in U-M history.
Individually, Sanderson’s work with Elodie Van Dievoet helped propel her to the program’s first Big Ten Championship with a record-setting 210 (-6) performance helping her earn the program’s first women’s golf All-America honor. Sanderson has also been instrumental in the development of All-Big Ten golfers Ashley Bauer (2010), Yugene Lee (2012), Grace Choi (2016), Catherine Peters (2016), and Van Dievoet (2017).
Before joining the Michigan staff, Sanderson spent three years (2006-09) working at Clemson University as the men’s and women’s basketball strength and conditioning coach, as well as the director of the Littlejohn Coliseum weight room. During Sanderson’s time at Clemson, the men’s basketball team won 20 or more games for three straight seasons — a first in program history. Also, during those three seasons, only North Carolina and Duke had more wins than Clemson in the ACC.
Prior to his time at Clemson, he served as the head strength and conditioning coach and sports nutrition coordinator for Olympic sports at Marshall University (2003-06). Before heading to Marshall, Sanderson was a strength and conditioning intern at North Carolina, working with the men’s basketball program (2002-03).
Throughout Sanderson’s career, he has trained 18 student-athletes that have gone on to play professional basketball in the NBA, including Michigan’s Darius Morris, Manny Harris, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III, Caris LeVert, D.J. Wilson, Derrick Walton, Jr., Moritz Wagner, and Duncan Robinson. Sanderson also trained former Michigan men’s golfer Lion Kim, who competed in the 2011 Masters.
Sanderson received both his bachelor’s in communication (2001) and master’s in sport sciences (2002) from Ohio University. Sanderson’s professional certifications include Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA); Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (CSCCa); Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (NSCA); United States Weightlifting Level 1 Club Coach (USAW); Functional Movement Systems Level 1 (FMS); Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 (TPI); Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES); and CPR/AED Certified (American Red Cross).
A native of Mansfield, Ohio, Sanderson played college basketball at Ohio State University (1997-99) and Ohio University (2000-02). Sanderson was the starting small forward on Ohio State’s 1999 Final Four team.
Sanderson was a high school basketball standout at Lexington High School in Ohio. He was a four-year varsity starter and earned All-America honorable mention from USA Today and Street and Smith magazine. Sanderson was also named first team All-Ohio as well as earning Division II Player of the Year in 1997.
Sanderson and his wife Jennifer (Sessor) have three children, Jonathan and twins, Joshua and Jillian, and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.