Behind every Final Four team, there's a great woman.
OK, maybe that's not always the case, but it is for the Kansas Jayhawks.
KU's Andrea Hudy is believed to be the only female strength and conditioning coach to work with a Division I men's basketball team, and center Jeff Withey called Hudy one of the Jayhawks' "secret weapons."
That's not just personal bias. Hudy's résumé of success speaks for itself. She's worked with nine championship teams since being hired by Kansas in 2004. In addition, Hudy has helped send 25 former Jayhawks players to the National Basketball Association.
She's bucked the odds. The National Strength and Conditioning Association reports that women occupy only 5 percent of registered trainers across all sports, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"I don't get instant street credibility because I'm not a male," Hudy said. "But I have enough on my résumé that the guys will trust what I say."
Hudy doesn't believe in the standard workout routine, and the Wall Street Journal reports she employs mountain biking, boxing, yoga, juggling and sometimes the video game Dance Dance Revolution.
Before landing at Kansas, the Pennsylvania native worked with future NBA players Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon while at UConn. Gordon, who still exchanges text messages with Hudy, compared her compassion to that of a team mom. "It was similar to having a mother figure—but she was also our strength and conditioning coach," Gordon said. "It was a funny combination. But it worked."
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
Popular Stories On ThePostGame:
-- NCAA Tournament Head To Head: Kansas Jayhawks-Ohio State Buckeyes
-- How To Pick A Final Four Team To Root For
-- The Five Toughest Races In The World
-- NCAA Hero Back From The Brink