Chip Morton is in his 14th season as Bengals strength and conditioning coach. He took over the position under head coach Marvin Lewis when Lewis joined the Bengals in 2003. During his tenure, Morton and his staff have established a program that continues to include innovative ideas while keeping its roots grounded in fundamental principles of productive training.
The work has helped the Bengals become one of only four NFL teams to reach the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, with a record of 52-27-1. In 2016, Morton is in his second year working with an expanded and improved weight room and conditioning facility at Paul Brown Stadium. He worked with club management on the design and development. In 2015, Morton worked with head coach Marvin Lewis to institute a significant change in the team’s weekly routine. The Bengals moved away from the traditional idea that the day before a game (usually Saturday) should be the lightest player activity day of the week. Coaches made the Friday practice lighter and upped the tempo for Saturday. In addition, more time each week was dedicated to player recovery and restoration.
Perhaps not entirely by coincidence, the 2015 Bengals posted a 12-4 record, tied for best in franchise history for a 16-game season. “The new routine was a good changeup,” said defensive tackle Domata Peko. “It gives us a chance to fix stuff on Friday. And we were off our feet more on Friday, whereas before we were basically going all day. We came back in on Saturday and got the blood flowing again and carried that into the games.” The Bengals’ strength and conditioning program is comprehensive in scope and progressive in its design. At its very core lies a foundation of traditional training principles, with an emphasis on teaching, relationship-building and service to the players. Morton and assistant S/C coach Jeff Friday both have coached on teams that have reached the Super Bowl.
“Under Chip’s direction, our strength and conditioning program remains on the cutting edge of training techniques and philosophy,” says Lewis. “I am very pleased with the outcome, using this program to both improve our players’ football performances and to increase their resistance to injuries.” Morton was a coaching colleague of Lewis with the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2001, serving as Ravens assistant strength and conditioning coach, and he was with Lewis in ’02 at Washington, serving as head strength and conditioning coach for the Redskins.
Morton is in his 24th NFL season, having also served as strength and conditioning assistant at San Diego from 1992-94 and as head strength and conditioning coach at Carolina from ’95-98. He has coached with two Super Bowl teams — the 1994 Chargers and the 2000 World Champion Ravens. He started his career in the collegiate ranks, serving as assistant strength coach at Ohio State (1985-86) while completing his master’s degree in physical education. He moved to Penn State in 1987 as the first-ever full-time strength and conditioning assistant for the Nittany Lions football team. He also worked with 14 other men’s and women’s sports during his five years (1987-91) at Penn State.
Morton’s hometown is Hamden, Conn. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1985 with a degree in zoology, where he also earned a varsity letter in swimming. Continuing education is a priority in Morton’s development as a coach and teacher. His most recent educational accomplishment has been his certification as an OS Certified Coach (Original Strength) in 2016. Chip is a Level One Sports Performance Coach through the United States Weightlifting Association and has been a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S.) in the National Strength & Conditioning Association since 1990. In 2006, Morton became the first NFL strength coach to receive the Russian Kettlebell Instructor’s Certification (RKC), and in ’08, he was certified as a Level I coach in John Brookfield’s Battling Ropes training system. Morton and his wife Stacey have seven children.
Coaching history: 1985-86—Assistant strength and conditioning (S/C) coach, Ohio State. 1987-91—Assistant S/C coach, Penn State. 1992-94— Assistant S/C coach, San Diego Chargers. 1995-98—Head S/C coach, Carolina Panthers. 1999-2001—Assistant S/C coach, Baltimore Ravens. 2002—Head S/C coach, Washington Redskins. 2003-present—Head S/C coach, Cincinnati Bengals.