Mark Brandenstein is in his third year as the Director of Football Strength and Conditioning at Youngstown State.
Brandenstein assisted Head Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Ben Iannacchione during the 2015 football season before joining the Penguins on a full-time basis in January 2016.
The 2016 football team reached the FCS National Championship Game for the first time since 1997 and played in a school-record 16 games during the year. YSU played a school-record five postseason games and the Penguins had numerous late-game wins that could be attributed to their performance in the weight room throughout the year.
In addition to serving as the football program's strength and conditioning coordinator, Brandenstein works directly with YSU's men's and women's tennis teams.
A Youngstown native, Brandenstein was a member of the YSU football program in 2010 before becoming a student assistant in the strength and conditioning department for Mike Cochran. Brandenstein assisted Cochran with the football program's workouts from 2011-14 while also serving as a personal trainer.
He interned with Kansas State during the spring of 2014 and at Ohio State during the summer of 2014. At both places, he worked primarily with the football program.
He played in 11 games for the Penguins on special teams and as a reserve on defense in 2010. Brandenstein recorded 13 tackles, including nine solo stops during the campaign.
He earned his degree from Youngstown State in Exercise Science in August 2014.
A graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, he was a standout football player for the Cardinals. He was a first-team All-Ohio Division III linebacker as a senior as Mooney posted a 15-0 mark and won the Ohio Division III State Championship.